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Tag Archives: Congressman Will Hurd

Hurd on the Hill: Battling the Bureaucracy

As a conservative, I am always looking for ways to reform government spending and use tax dollars more efficiently. With a background in computer science and through my time as Chair of the House IT Subcommittee, I’ve been able to identify federal information technology (IT) as an area in desperate need of reform.

While IT isn’t the most exciting topic for everyone, this issue has more of an impact on your lives than you might realize. Billions of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars are wasted maintaining outdated and obsolete government IT systems that are not just costly, but also vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Last year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was hacked, compromising the personal information of over twenty million current and former government employees, myself included. Furthermore, the federal government’s budget for IT systems is a whopping $80 billion, and almost 80 percent of this is spent maintaining these outdated systems. Aside from protecting our information and infrastructure, imagine what we could save by investing in 21st Century digital solutions to modernize the federal government.

The American people deserve better from their government. That’s why in Congress I have prioritized increased accountability, and have been working with my colleagues to improve our information security and keep our spending to a minimum.

Earlier this month, I introduced the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act with support from my colleagues on both sides of the political aisle in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, to reform federal IT and create a more modern, responsive, and cost-effective government. Forcing the federal government to operate more like a private business and less like the outdated bureaucracy it is starts with leadership, but cannot be achieved without new technology.

This bipartisan federal IT reform package helps catch our government up to speed with the 21st Century by incentivizing agencies to implement modern technology. Federal agencies will save money over time by doing things like reforming IT acquisition, streamlining IT systems, replacing legacy products, and transitioning to cloud computing.

Savings from these processes can be placed in what is called a working capital fund that can be accessed for up to three years for further IT updates. This approach gets rid of the traditional use-it or lose-it approach that has led to departments and agencies going on a spending glut at the end of the year simply to justify their budgets, holding back government technology for decades and wasting hard earned taxpayer dollars.

The MGT Act is scheduled for a vote on the House floor this week. And with these critical reforms, the federal government will be able to better address growing cybersecurity threats while providing more efficient services to the American people.

The threat of a cyberattack is very real. For the United States to continue being a world leader, we need to better secure our government data and digital infrastructure. MGT is an innovative solution and another step forward in moving our government into the 21st Century. I will continue to work with my colleagues until this reform package is signed into law by the President.

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A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee for Homeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Rep. Hurd: Statement on the Firing of FBI Director James Comey

Washington, DC – While on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine learning about Russian active measures in Eastern Europe, Congressman Will Hurd who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued the following statement regarding the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey:

“While I understand the desire to maintain the public trust in the FBI, the timing of James Comey’s firing is troubling, especially since the Justice Department Inspector General was conducting an independent investigation into Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case.

“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation into Russian interference in our elections, I’m concerned that Comey’s firing is going to create new concerns around the public trust in the Department of Justice. This just highlights the need for the House of Representatives’ investigation of Russian interference in our elections to continue to move forward in a thorough and bipartisan way. I also have complete confidence in the men and women of the FBI to continue ongoing investigations.

“At a time when our adversaries around the globe pose unprecedented threats to our national security and undertake extraordinary efforts to undermine our democratic institutions, I urge the President to quickly nominate a new Director. There is no doubt in my mind that the new head of the FBI must be someone who is eminently respected, and can quickly be confirmed by the Senate, in order to continue to confront the grave challenges facing our nation.

“While Director Comey and I have disagreed in the past, I have always maintained and will continue to have the utmost respect for his public service, and most importantly his commitment to protecting this country.”

Gallery+Story: Tornillo Port of Entry Officially Renamed in Honor of El Paso’s World War I Hero

Congressman Will Hurd, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) gathered Wednesday to commemorate the naming of the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry (POE) in Tornillo, 35 miles east of El Paso.

Marcelino Serna was an El Paso resident who served in World War I and became the most decorated World War I veteran from Texas.

“The veteran community has been championing this issue for many years, and it is an honor to deliver on their wishes after two years of working in Washington to make this happen,” said Congressman Hurd. “Today we honored a man who immigrated to the United States and risked his life repeatedly to protect the safety of his fellow soldiers. The Marcelino Serna Port of Entry will not only honor this extraordinary man’s service to our nation, it will serve as a reminder of the countless Hispanic-American immigrants who have fought valiantly to keep our nation safe. It brings me great joy to celebrate with his daughter Gloria and the rest of the Tornillo community.”

“It is an honor to represent GSA as we memorialize Marcelino Serna for his courage and patriotism in World War I,” said GSA Acting Regional Administrator Jim Weller. “Dedicating the Tornillo Port of Entry in his name demonstrates the federal government’s respect and appreciation for his service to country.”

“The dedication and service to country demonstrated by Marcelino Serna a century ago is reflected in the daily work of CBP officers assigned to this facility,” said CBP Marcelino Serna Port Director Donna Sifford.

Private Marcelino Serna lived in El Paso and volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War I. After basic training Serna was sent overseas to join the Allied forces but was later given the option to withdraw because, at the time, he was not a U.S. citizen. Instead, he chose to stay and fight with his fellow soldiers.

During his service, Serna’s dedication and bravery saved many lives. For his acts of courage, Serna was honored by the U.S. Army with two Purple Hearts and was the first Hispanic to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Serna, who became a U.S. citizen in 1924, died in 1992 at the age of 95 and was buried with full military honors at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

The Marcelino Serna POE is a newly-constructed 117 acre port that was completed in 2016 and replaced the legacy Fabens POE. The Marcelino Serna POE provides both noncommercial and commercial inspections and is the bridge between Tornillo and Guadalupe in Mexico.

For more information about the public law regarding the naming, click HERE.

Photos courtesy US Representative Will Hurd’s Office

Hurd Selected for House Intelligence Committee

Washington, D.C. – Amid increasing threats to the homeland and around the globe, former undercover CIA officer Congressman Will Hurd has become the first representative from the 23rd district of Texas to be appointed to the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). At a time when the Intelligence Community faces significant challenges, Rep. Hurd brings firsthand national security and intelligence gathering experience to the body tasked with overseeing and supporting their operations.

This prestigious appointment by the Speaker of the House at the beginning of his second term is big news after a hard fought reelection.  Hurd sits on the committees of Homeland Security and Oversight and Government Reform and has quickly positioned himself as a leading voice on National Security and Cybersecurity.

“We are living in a dangerous time when our enemies’ tactics, techniques, and procedures are continuously evolving. It’s the job of Congress to make sure our national security apparatus is ready to meet these threats,” said Hurd. “I left an organization I love, and a career I loved and was good at because I believed I could help the intelligence community in a different way. That’s why I ran for Congress. It’s exciting to be able to use my experience to develop recommendations with my colleagues on the Committee that will prevent terrorist attacks and keep Americans safe.”

“Will is an obvious choice for this committee,” said Speaker Paul Ryan. “During his first term in Congress, he was a leader on national security and cybersecurity issues, drawing from his personal experience to help educate his colleagues and shape policy. His expertise will be a strong asset as we strengthen our national security policies to protect Americans at home and our interests abroad.”

“I’d like to give a warm welcome to Congressman Hurd, who is joining the House Intelligence Committee,” HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated. “With his years-long experience as a CIA officer, he has immense first-hand knowledge of the Intelligence Community, and I expect he will play a critical role in the committee’s oversight activities.” 

“Will’s background as a Clandestine Service officer has made him uniquely qualified to serve on HPSCI,” added George Tenet, former Director of Central Intelligence. “Having served both in congressional oversight staff and the CIA, myself, I know his exemplary service and experience will be invaluable to the committee responsible for overseeing our nation’s intelligence operations.”

“Rep. Hurd’s appointment to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is very important for the city of San Antonio,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson P. Wolff. “His first-hand experience and expertise makes him the best person to represent our city on this committee when it comes to issues of national security and helping San Antonio to continue to strengthen its claim as Cyber City, USA.”    

“On behalf of the Airmen of 24th Air Force, Air Forces Cyber, I would like to congratulate Rep. Will Hurd on his new appointment.  He has been a vocal advocate and ally for the Air Force and Cyberspace Operations,” stated Major General Christopher Weggeman, Commander of the 24th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio, which plans and executes global cyberspace operations. “We look forward to working with him, his staff and the committee to secure our nation’s vital interests.”  

“I’m honored by Speaker Ryan’s appointment and humbled to be able to yet again support my colleagues in the Intelligence Community as they continue their challenging and gravely important work to keep this country safe,” said Hurd.