Brady briefing: On Brussels, Obama stonewalling & teachers

The recent terrorist attack in Brussels is no less likely to occur than a terrorist attack here in the U.S. We are in a war against radical Islamic terrorism, and this is yet another warning sign to America.

To keep our communities safe, we must fully fund a strong national defense, launch an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and continue closing loopholes to prevent foreign terrorists from traveling to the U.S.

After successfully closing the visa waiver loophole to stop foreign terrorist travelers — and sending to the Senate a bill to halt the Syrian refugee program — the U.S. House last week approved the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act. Among other commonsense security measures, it establishes minimum border security systems for foreign governments and allows the U.S. to suspend foreign aid if countries refuse to enact stronger standards.

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Should the White House be allowed to funnel more than $5 billion into the coffers of insurance companies through ObamaCare in clear disregard of the law?

The answer is no. As chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, I’ve issued a subpoena to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew for documents regarding the cost-sharing reduction program of the ACA. I also issued subpoenas to three IRS officials to appear for depositions.

The investigation started a year ago. But the Obama White House has denied repeated requests for information and documents since that time.

We’ve warned them time and time again that stonewalling the investigation won’t work. Now I’m taking the next step and issuing a subpoena to the Secretary of Health & Human Services to release the documents and information.

Bottom line: I won’t stop until taxpayers know if their tax dollars are being diverted to subsidize insurance companies who can’t break even in the fatally flawed ObamaCare – in direct conflict to Congress’ will, which purposely denied funding for it. If it’s not stopped, this subterfuge could cost taxpayers $170 billion over the next decade – and that’s real money.

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Some good news. Last week, Congress took an important step forward in my fight to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and restore Social Security benefits earned by teachers, firefighters and police when they retire.

The Social Security panel in Ways & Means held a hearing in Washington on HR 711 which proposes providing equal treatment under Social Security for those who teach our children, protect us and watch over our homes and businesses.

In his testimony, Tim Lee, who heads the Texas Retired Teachers Association, explained how devastating WEP is, explaining how for retirees “it can mean hundreds of dollars a month lost in much-needed Social Security benefits.”

I don’t know of a teacher, firefighter or police officer who doesn’t work a second job or who didn’t have another career in which they paid full Social Security taxes. We need one formula that treats everyone equally – especially since every dollar counts in retirement. I’ve never given up on finding the right solution – this is the time to act.

Originally published in The Courier.

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