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Home | Tag Archives: will hurd (page 2)

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Hurd on the Hill: Bringing Computer Science to Middle School Students

Coding is the language of the 21st Century economy. If our students can’t speak it, they will be left behind. We must do a better job preparing our students for the jobs that don’t exist yet—and we’ve got to start at an earlier age.

Over 42,000 computer jobs go unfilled in Texas each year because we do not produce enough computer scientists—and these jobs pay over twice the average salary in Texas. As a former computer science major at Texas A&M, this problem is close to my heart.

There is no reason we should be missing the opportunity to prepare students for these high paying jobs.

The majority of students do not have access to computer science courses until high school. What is more interesting, is that according to a recent State law, most 8th graders must now select one of five “endorsement” tracks, which influences their course curriculum throughout high school.  Students interested in computer science would theoretically choose the STEM endorsement track.

But how are they supposed to know that they are interested in computer science if they have never been exposed to it?

Therein lies the problem: the vast majority of our middle schools do not offer computer science at all. Right now, the pipeline that produces Computer Science professionals starts at the high school level.

That is why I have been working with several members of the public, private, and non-profit sectors, to develop a plan that provides earlier access to quality computer science education for our kids.

In partnership with the University of Texas Center for STEM Education and non-profit organization Bootstrap, my curriculum initiative will train middle school teachers to integrate computer science into State-approved mathematics curriculums.

Intel, Dell, Facebook, Brocade, and Toyota of Texas have agreed to generously fund the training, and the first training workshop will be held March 23 – 25 in San Antonio.

Because the curriculum is taught through existing math classes, schools do not need additional teachers or classes. Forty middle school teachers from across the 23rd Congressional District of Texas may participate at little to no cost so that they can implement the program in the classroom in fall 2017. This could potentially expose at least 5,000 students in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas to Computer Science.

It’s exciting that the public and private sectors are working together to produce real returns for the community, and it is my hope that we inspire many more students to pursue careers in computer science.

If you are a superintendent, principal, teacher or parent and would like more information, visit Hurd.House.Gov/CS or contact my office at 210-921-3130.

Congressman Will Hurd


Author: 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 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.

Hurd on the Hill: A New Agenda To Give Small Business A Break

As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am excited about our opportunity to finally deliver comprehensive tax reform that will empower small businesses in Texas and across the country.

America’s small businesses embody the best of who we are as a nation and the promise of who we can be. They show that through grit and ingenuity, a simple idea can be transformed into a breakthrough product or service that improves countless lives.

As a Texan, I know how proud we are of our homegrown businesses. We celebrate the achievements of local companies which began small and are starting to make it big. Unfortunately, we’re now hearing fewer and fewer of these success stories. Our broken tax code is a major reason why. Because of significant tax and regulatory hurdles, it has become even harder for startups to survive, much less succeed.

The inhospitable business climate fostered by America’s broken tax code discourages entrepreneurs from putting their ideas into motion. Bold risk-takers who are considering starting a company may be forced to wait until conditions are more favorable, or even abandon the pursuit altogether. Businesses that are already up and running may have to stop hiring or making new investments until it’s safer to do so. Our economy stalls.

To empower Main Street job creators, we must free small businesses from the burdens of America’s broken tax code. In June, House Republicans released a blueprint for bold, pro-growth tax reform. With it, we have an opportunity to hit the ground running in 2017 on a historic tax overhaul that will get our economy moving again.

Our plan includes many provisions that will make it easier for people to start and grow their own small business. The reforms range from repealing the “death tax” — which is a major reason family-owned businesses are not passed down to the next generation — to innovative solutions that make the tax code dramatically simpler and fairer.

First, we end the practice of taxing small business income at individual rates as high as 44.6 percent. These earnings will instead be taxed at no more than 25 percent. This will help local businesses grow in good economic times and bad, offering them the freedom to keep more of what they earn so it can be used to serve more customers or hire new workers.

Next, we take bold action to unleash business investment. For the first time in history, businesses of all sizes will be able to fully and immediately write off purchases of equipment or technology needed to produce and compete at a higher level.

For startups with few extra dollars to spare, this means you can afford to buy cutting-edge software or machinery without having to forgo hiring more workers. For workers, it means new tools to help you do your job more efficiently. Greater productivity leads to higher wages.

Finally, our blueprint helps small businesses by busting up the Internal Revenue Service and redesigning it into an agency with a singular focus — service first.

Under our plan, the IRS will be centered on distinct service units trained to help different groups of taxpayers. One will focus explicitly on providing top-quality assistance to businesses. Main Street job creators will be treated the same way that they treat their own customers — with respect.

When President-elect Trump is in the White House, we will be closer to comprehensive tax reform than at any point the last 30 years. At the House Ways and Means Committee, we will seize this opportunity to deliver a 21st century tax code that offers local businesses a better opportunity to thrive.

Congressman Will Hurd
Guest Contributor – Congressman Will Hurd

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd declares victory over Pete Gallego

SAN ANTONIO –U.S. Rep. Will Hurd claimed victory in his re-election bid Tuesday night, becoming the first incumbent to hold onto the Texas 23rd District in eight years.

“We won this thing because of y’alls hard work,” Hurd, a Republican, said shortly after midnight at his campaign’s official watch party on Hotel Eilon in San Antonio, his hometown. “We won because y’all believed that we could win. We won because y’all worked harder, because y’all cared, because this district recognizes a lot more work needs to be done.”

Hurd claimed victory over an old rival for the second time, Democratic former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego in the state’s only competitive federal district on Tuesday night, on the heels of Donald Trump’s apparent election to the presidency.

See the latest results here.

In his remarks delivered around 1 a.m., Gallego said he called Hurd to congratulate him – ending a bitter campaign on what appeared to be a collegial note.

Gallego acknowledged the devastation his party faced nationally.

“There is a lot of concern and trepidation,” he said, alluding to the likely ascension of Trump to the White House.

“One thing I’ve learned: We are a resilient nation,” Gallego continued. “The sun rises tomorrow. It’s a new day. And we begin putting one foot in front of the other as we have every other day for generations’ and generations’ past and as I know we will for generations to come.”

Hurd’s win was one of many blows to the Democratic party nationwide – he was considered one of the most vulnerable House Republicans and among the easiest pick ups for the Democrsts.

The conventional wisdom was that Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric could be an albatross around Hurd’s neck and Gallego staked his entire campaign around tying Hurd to Trump.

Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, repudiated his party’s nominee upon the release of a vulgar video showing Trump boasting about groping women.

Trump, however, outperformed expectations nationally and appeared to help Hurd with at least some voters in the district.

“I voted for Donald Trump because I think he’s good for America,” said Daniel Arevalo, a salesman voting Tuesday at McCollum High School in San Antonio. “I don’t think Hillary has any business-sense and he does and in my opinion he’ll do better for us than she will. I voted for Will Hurd just for the Republican ticket.”

Hurd ran one of the best executed and funded Congressional campaigns the state has ever seen. The hope among some Texas Republicans is that he can hold onto the seat long enough and build enough constituent loyalty that he can cease the flip flop nature of the district until the next round of redistricting.

Hurd’s win bolsters U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s standing among House Republicans. Ryan was a strong supporter of Hurd’s re-election, and Hurd’s presence in the GOP conference eases Ryan’s path to a second term as the House GOP leader.

Just like every cycle, the 23rd Congressional District is all-but-certain to be a top target for the opposition.

But the environment will have changed from the last two midterms. Over the last eight years, Republicans did well in those cycles, thanks to a combination of lower voter turnout and as a backlash to the Obama administration.

Prior to serving in Congress, Gallego was a longtime member of the Texas House. Once in Washington, he became a sentimental favorite among House Democrats, as senior members recruited him to run against Hurd just days after his 2014 loss. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled throughout the 2016 cycle that winning this seat was a top priority of her political agenda.



Trump’s Campaign Spiral jolts Hurd-Gallego Rematch

In deeply red Texas, fallout from Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women has been more limited than in other states.

Top Texas Republicans uniformly condemned the remarks without pulling their support, standing by Trump with under a month to go until Election Day — and more peril on the horizon for his already flagging campaign.

An exception, however, swiftly unfolded in the state’s 23rd Congressional District, where Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, locked in a heated rematch with Pete Gallego, called on Trump to leave the race, crystalizing opposition to his party’s nominee after months of Democratic pressure.

The full repudiation by Hurd, who had never endorsed Trump, launched the race into a new stage, auguring a brutal homestretch in a battle Democrats had longed hoped would hinge on Trump.

Texas Republicans, even those fully behind Trump, say they get it.

“We in the county continue to support Trump, but I fully understand what Hurd’s trying to do and what he’s trying to accomplish,” said Adolpho Telles, chairman of the El Paso County GOP. “He’s gotta do what he’s gotta to do to maintain his seat.” 

The turning point in the 23rd — home to the only competitive congressional race this November in Texas — began just hours after the surfacing of a 2005 clip last Friday showing Trump speaking in explicit terms about sexual assault. Hurd initially responded with a statement condemning the comments as “utterly sickening and repulsive for all women and Americans.” A day later, Hurd issued another statement announcing he would not vote for Trump and asking the nominee to “step aside for a true conservative to beat Hillary Clinton.” 

Now, fully untethered from Trump, Hurd’s campaign is making the case he would be a check-and-balance on whomever the next president is — not just a rubber stamp for his or her agenda. His campaign has started airing a TV ad that argues he would hold accountable either Clinton or Trump in the White House — an increasingly common refrain in congressional contests across the country as Trump continues to tank. 

“In Congress, Will Hurd had the guts to take on the FBI director when reckless actions put our nation in danger,” a narrator says, referring to Hurd’s questioning of the director, James Comey, over the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails. “Will Hurd fights for what he believes in and is the only candidate willing to stand up to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”

The new tack is not satisfying Democrats, who were quick to argue Hurd’s change of heart was too little, too late. They say that Hurd’s full disavowal of Trump on Saturday does not make up for his relative silence in previous instances of Trump attacking women, minorities and the military. 

“Mr. Hurd was meek as a mouse as Mr. Trump made all of his comments, and it is too late for that mouse to roar now,” Gallego told reporters Tuesday, appearing at a news conference ahead of a Trump visit to San Antonio. 

Gallego’s campaign quickly moved to put the argument on the air, releasing a TV ad Monday that criticizes Hurd for taking too long to fully distance himself from Trump. Gallego was the first Democratic congressional candidate to release a commercial of its type, according to a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Courageous leaders in both parties have spoken out that Donald Trump must never be our commander in chief,” Gallego says in the spot, facing the camera. “Congressman Hurd waited until it was too late to speak out about Donald Trump.”

While Trump allies have gone after anti-Trump Republicans in other states, Hurd does not appear to be paying a price within his own party in Texas. Asked Wednesday about Hurd’s call for Trump to step aside, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who chairs Trump’s efforts in the Lone Star State, struck a deferential tone while noting he is “very supportive” of Hurd.

“If an individual person — we’re talking about one out of our whole delegation — makes a decision they don’t want to be tied to the top [of the ticket], that’s their decision,” Patrick said in an interview with Time Warner Cable News. “But Trump is willing to help them if they want the help.”

On Friday, Hurd’s repudiation of Trump continued to be of more intense interest to Democrats. The DCCC issued a statement questioning why Hurd, if he is not voting for Trump, is not supporting Clinton in what House Speaker Paul Ryan has labeled a “binary choice.” Ryan is set to visit San Antonio on Monday to attend a fundraiser for Hurd, his third event for the freshman this election cycle.

Hurd was also hit Friday with a pair of new TV ads linking him to Trump, one from the DCCC and the other from House Majority PAC, a super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House. The DCCC spots highlight how Hurd was open to voting for Trump until Saturday, and the House Majority PAC commercial asserts Hurd “sided with Donald Trump and his political party, hurting Texas families.”

Read more Tribune coverage here:

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

Rep Hurd’s Bill to Rename Tornillo Port after Hispanic WWI Hero on way to President’s Desk

After several weeks and months of hard work, Representative Will Hurd’s bill to rename the Tornillo POE after WWI hero Private Marcelino Serna passed the Senate late Tuesday night and is on its way to the President’s desk for his signature.

PVT Serna’s daughter, Gloria Serna, has received a call from Will letting her know the good news.

“The symbolism of a bridge connecting the two cities is powerful. The veteran community has been championing this issue for many years, and it is extremely satisfying to deliver on their wishes,” said Rep. Hurd who represents the Tornillo area where Serna lived. “The Tornillo-

Private Marcelino Serna | Photo courtesy Will Hurd FB Page
Private Marcelino Serna | Photo courtesy Will Hurd FB Page

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.”

Rep. Hurd added that he was thrilled to have gotten the bill through Congress, as it’s not often that a bill with no cosponsors passes the House and the Senate with unanimous consent, but this is one of those times.

 Hurd added, “My thanks to Senator John Cornyn for his efforts to move this bill through the Senate so that it can be sent to the President’s desk.”

“Private Serna’s dedication to his country is an inspiring example for all of us, and I’m proud to recognize his service at a such an important juncture for the U.S.-Mexico relationship,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m pleased to partner with Congressman Hurd in this effort to honor a valued member of the El Paso community and someone who truly went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Ms. Serna’s daughter, Laura Stopani, added, “I’m so happy that my grandfather is finally being honored. We are very proud of my grandfather. He was a good man, he didn’t do this for any recognition; he did all this for the love of his country. He came to this country, and he said ‘I’ll fight for it’ and he did, and we are very proud of him. We appreciate everything Representative Hurd has done to honor my grandfather very much. We are very grateful to Representative Hurd to have given my grandfather this honor.” 

“On behalf of the American Legion Post 36, I am extremely grateful and proud that the proposal to rename the Tornillo Port of Entry after PVT Marcelino Serna was approved.  It is even more gratifying to our post members because our First Vice Commander, Robert Serna is the hero’s nephew.  Having the port of entry in Tornillo renamed after PVT Serna will bring attention to his life and his heroic accomplishments and will serve as a source of pride for citizens of both the United States and Mexico,” said Ruben Carrasco, Commander of the American Legion, Post 36 in El Paso.

“On behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 574, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10354, we express our appreciation for supporting HR 5252 (Naming of the port of entry to Marcelino Serna).The VVA and VFW both extend our thanks to our current Congress for the passing of this HR bill, as it means much to our El Paso, Texas community, as an honor that is way overdue,” submitted in a joint statement from Humberto Nevarez, President of the VVA Chapter 574, and Robert Rangel, Commander of VFW Post 10354, of El Paso.

The bill now heads to the President’s desk, and will become Hurd’s fifth piece of legislation to become law during his freshman term in Congress.

Rep. Hurd set to Visit San Eli, Van Horn Next Week

Congressman Will Hurd is set to have meetings in San Elizario and Van Horn next week as part of his Tech2Town Summer Road Trip.

Rep. Hurd shares, “To have a qualified workforce, we must ensure access to technology education and development for all ages and abilities—and not just in the big cities like San Antonio and El Paso—but in all of our hard-working communities. Prioritizing education initiatives like Tech2Town will help create a diverse 21st century workforce, drive technological advancement and innovation across every industry, and allow Texans to be more competitive in the global arena.”

The Tech2Town Summer Road Trip will be held in San Elizario and Van Horn on Wednesday, August 3; Alpine, Fort Stockton and Sonora onThursday, August 4; and Del Rio on August 5, where he and his staff will bring computer professionals to provide free computer and internet training as part of a larger initiative to inspire STEM education, careers, and entrepreneurship.

Rep Hurd adds, “The best part of my job is meeting with families across the district. Each town, from San Antonio to El Paso, and every place in between, has their own flavor and charm, not to mention, some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met…this is why I look forward to August recess all year, so that I can hit the road with my team and meet with folks all month long.

These workshops will be open to the public.

Get the full details on these workshops by visiting or calling 210-921-3130.

San Elizario #Tech2Town

Guest Column – Rep. Will Hurd: How to Stop Terrorists in their Tracks

The rise of ISIS has exposed the darkest side of humanity—at times manifesting their violent ideology at our very doorsteps.

The terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Brussels, and France demonstrate how individuals with the aim to do the most harm possible are taking advantage of security gaps and focusing on the most vulnerable of targets.

The most recent tragic attack in Nice on Thursday represents how it doesn’t take many people to wreak an enormous amount of damage and loss of life.

As a former undercover CIA officer, I’ve worked with my colleagues in the 114thCongress to approach the growing terrorist threat from a number of angles, including addressing the issue of terrorists’ ease of travel, combating terrorist recruitment strategies, and improving our own counterterrorism capabilities.

The first step in the battle against those seeking to do us harm is to prevent them from arriving here in the first place.

The House of Representatives has thoroughly examined this issue the past two years to determine what kind of legislation would effectively mitigate the threat of terrorist travel.

The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, introduced by Representative Candice Miller (R-MI), tightened the regulations surrounding individuals who qualify to enter our country without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. It prevents individuals who have visited countries in which terrorist groups are known to operate from entering our country without undergoing the normal background check process to obtain a visa.

These terror attacks affect more than the country in which they are launched, they attach our way of life and shared values. Their victims are from all over the world, and as a world we mourn. I would be remiss if I did not include the names of the two Texans who were killed in Thursday’s attack in Nice: Sean and Brody Copeland—a father and a son who were on vacation in France.

Combating these kinds of terror attacks requires international cooperation. That is why this Congress has passed legislation aimed at assisting the international community in the effort to stop terrorists from enjoying ease of travel.

The Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act, introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), authorizes the Department of State to demonstrate the ways in which we are helping our foreign partners in their traveler screening capacity building efforts.

Similarly, the Enhancing Overseas Traveler Vetting Act, which I introduced this past February, authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State to provide our foreign partners with software that we use at our borders to ensure those wishing to enter our nation do not pose a threat. The simple fact is that when our foreign partners are more secure, so are we.

Tracking foreign fighters is another key component of the battle against terrorist extremists. Both Rep. Frank LoBiondo’s (R-N.J.) Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Act and my Foreign Fighter Review Act of 2016 address this very issue. They contain language that calls for the stringent review of individuals known to have joined terrorist groups in conflict zones like Iraq and Syria and to cross check this list with our foreign partners and other terrorist watch lists. It is imperative that we keep close tabs on these individuals.

The House has also passed a number of bills aimed at combating terrorist recruitment. Chairman Michael McCaul’s (R-Texas) Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act authorized DHS develop training programs for local and state officials to better identify and respond to potential terrorist threats.

The Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act introduced by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-N.Y.), authorizes DHS to use the testimonies of those who formerly participated in terrorist group activities as part of their countering violent extremism efforts and programs. These bills and a number of others demonstrate the ways Congress has carefully examined these issues and the specific actions we are taking to address them.

Most important, the 114th Congress has emphasized the importance of boosting our own intelligence-sharing capabilities at home so that law enforcement can have all the necessary tools and information to do their jobs. The Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), actually establishes a board within DHS to coordinate its intelligence and counterterrorism activities.

The fight against terrorism will not be over tomorrow or next month, or even next year. The fight will endure for years to come, and as the threat changes, so too must we adapt to these transformations.

While we have successfully addressed vulnerabilities that terrorists would take advantage of if they could, there is more work to be done.

We will continue to pass effective legislation based on sound policies that stop in their tracks, those seeking to do us harm.

That is our promise. We will not let the American people down. 

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 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. Follow him on Twitter, @HurdOnTheHill.

Hurd Selected for House Task Force on Community/Police Relations

On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Will Hurd was selected to be part of a 12-member bipartisan House Task Force led by the Judiciary Committee, tasked with examining police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement and public safety concerns related to these issues.

“Whether your skin is black or your uniform is blue, individuals should not feel targeted in this country,” said Rep. Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer. “It’s time for our communities to unify and break down the barriers that cause distrust and lead to violence. We are all Americans and we have to stop seeing people who don’t agree with us as enemies.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers will lead the working group. In addition to Hurd, members of the working group are: Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).

“I’m proud to serve on this Task Force alongside former law enforcement, religious leaders, and civil rights activists,” Hurd continued.  “We must set an example to follow by bringing leaders from all sides together and encourage open, honest, and frank dialogue. Only then, will we be able to start rebuilding these relationships.”

The first private roundtable will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The working group has invited Reverend Doctor DeForest B. Suares, Jr., the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and Deborah A. Ramirez, the Executive Director for Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, to participate.

Video: Modernizing the U.S.-Mexico border – A Brookings Panel Discussion

On March 16, Foreign Policy at Brookings’s Latin America Initiative and Americas Society/Council of the Americas co-hosted a two-panel discussion exploring how new policies for the U.S.-Mexico border can balance the benefits of a continued rise of legal travel and trade with the simultaneous need for Mexico and the United States to work collaboratively to improve border security.

On the panel:  U.S. Representative Will Hurd & U.S Representative Beto O’Rourke.…


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