Rep. Roger Williams

Texas Congressmen file Fort Hood Heroes Act

Texas lawmakers in Washington are moving forward with a bill to reclassify the Fort Hood shooting as an act of terrorism. Tuesday, Reps. John Carter and Roger Williams filed their version of the legislation. The bill has 118 co-sponsors, including Texas Rep. Michael McCaul.

The military designated the 2009 mass shooting on the Army post as an “act of workplace violence.” Reclassifying the shooting would give victims and their families access to the same benefits as those killed in combat.

“It’s very, very clear that the intent of Mr. Hasan was to kill soldiers to keep them off the battlefield. In his way of thinking, he was on the battlefield. Rep. Carter said in an interview yesterday. “I felt like this was clearly a terrorist attack.”

According to lawmakers, those benefits could include:

  • Combat-related special compensation
  • Maximum coverage under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
  • Tax breaks after death in combat zone or terrorist attack
  • Special pay for subjection to hostile fire or imminent danger
  • Unearned portions of bonuses
  • Combat-related injury rehabilitation pay
  • Meals at military treatment facilities

The Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act is a companion bill to legislation already filed in the Senate. That bill is sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.


Rep. Williams slams White House ‘Tourquester’

Some Republican lawmakers are taking issue with the Obama administration’s decision to close the White House doors to visitors. Citing the sequester, the visitors’ office announced yesterday that due to staffing issues tours would be put on hold indefinitely, starting Saturday. The move comes as Congress was unable to compromise on a budget deal and the spring tourism season is about to hit full swing in Washington, D.C.

In an email statement today, U.S. Rep Roger Williams called the closure “deeply troubling and disturbingly ironic.”

Today, U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25) made the following comments regarding the White House’s decision to cancel all public tours blaming the federal spending cuts, known as the sequester.  Williams said:

“For many Americans a family or school trip to our nation’s Capitol is a once-in-a-lifetime event.  To cancel all public tours, essentially closing the doors of the White House, is wrong.  This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, as it requires minimal federal dollars to allow the public access to the White House.  If the President was serious about cutting spending, he would negotiate in good faith with Congress to find more desirable solutions.

“I want to let those who are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. know that the Capitol will remain open.  My office is happy to continue arranging tours of the Capitol and many other historical landmarks regardless of any reductions in our office budget.”

In addition, Rep. Louie Gohmert, who represents parts of east Texas, is looking to keep the president off the links until the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are back open to the public. The Hill is reporting he filed an amendment stating ”None of the funds made available by a division of this act may be used to transport the President to or from a golf course until public tours of the White House tours resume.”