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Republican Party of Texas Platform, 2016

Download the platform in PDF form here.

Preamble
Principles
Preserving American Freedom
Strengthening Families, Protecting Life, and Promoting Health
Educating Our Children
Strengthening the Economy
United States Sovereignty, Leadership, Citizenship, and Foreign Policy
Legislative Priorities

PREAMBLE

Affirming our belief in God, we still hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Throughout the world, people dare to dream of freedom and opportunity. The Republican Party of Texas unequivocally defends that dream. We strive to preserve the freedom given to us by God, implemented by our Founding Fathers, and embodied in the Constitution. We recognize that the traditional family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect innocent life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals.

PRINCIPLES

We, the 2016 Republican Party of Texas, believe in this platform and expect our elected leaders to uphold these truths through acknowledgment and action. We believe in:

  1. “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original language and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.
  2. The sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
  3. Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.
  4. Limiting government power to those items enumerated in the United States and Texas Constitutions.
  5. Personal accountability and responsibility.
  6. Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.
  7. Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children.
  8. The inalienable right of all people to defend themselves and their property.
  9. A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.
  10. Honoring all of those that serve and protect our freedom.

PRESERVING AMERICAN FREEDOM

LIMITING THE EXPANSE OF GOVERNMENT POWER

  1. The Rights of a Sovereign People– The Republican Party of Texas supports the historic concept, established by our nation’s founders, of limited civil government jurisdiction under the natural laws of God, and we oppose the humanistic doctrine that the state is sovereign over the affairs of men, the family, and the church. We believe that government properly exists by the consent of the governed and must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places.
  2. State Sovereignty– Pursuant to Article 1 Section 1 of the Texas Constitution, the federal government has impaired our right of local self-government. Therefore, Federally mandated legislation, which infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas, should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified. Regulation of Commerce in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution has exceeded the original intent. All attempts by the federal judiciary to rule in areas not expressly enumerated by the United States Constitution should be likewise nullified. Any federal enforcement activities that do occur in Texas should be conducted under the authority of the county sheriff.
  3. Texas Protecting Texans- We support Federal legislation remanding all authority over abortion back to the individual States and removing all standing on this issue from the federal judiciary as given by Article III in the US Constitution. We also support family control of end of life decisions.
  4. United States Senators- We support the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.
  5. Unelected Bureaucrats- We oppose the appointment of unelected bureaucrats and we support defunding and abolishing the departments or agencies of the Internal Revenue Service, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Interior (specifically, the Bureau of Land Management), Transportation Security Administration, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and National Labor Relations Board. In the interim, executive decisions by departments or agencies must be reviewed and approved by Congress before taking effect.
  6. Unfunded Mandates- We support restricting the power of any legislature to impose unfunded mandates.
  7. Term Limits: We support term limits for Federal Judicial and Congressional offices and statewide offices to three terms, or twelve years maximum for any single office.
  8. No Elected Class Exemptions- The Government shall not exempt its members from any provisions of existing or proposed laws.
  9. Law Enforcement- We proudly support our law enforcement agencies and their personnel.
  10. Defeat Terrorism- We support an aggressive war on terrorism, including radical Islamic terrorists, cooperating with our allies, and sanctioning nations who sponsor terrorists. We support the reasonable use of profiling, the prosecution of national security breaches, and the revision of laws or executive orders that erode our liberties. We call on governmental agencies to avoid and suspend all activities with all radical Islamic organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations.
  11. Repeal Freedom Act- We support the repeal of the Freedom Act. Spying on law-abiding Americans must stop immediately. We support court-ordered warrants on an individual basis in cases directly involving national security.
  12. Abolish National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)– The Republican Party of Texas opposes the indefinite detention of United States citizens without due process. We urge our government to terminate detention without due process, including, but not limited to, any military enforcement of federal law within the State of Texas, under NDAA Sections 1021 and 1022.
  13. Emergency War Powers and Martial Law Declarations- We support the repeal of the War Powers Act and an end to our declared state of emergency. Any declaration of martial law should be approved by Congress.
  14. Elimination of Executive Orders- We oppose the unconstitutional use of executive orders. All orders lacking Congressional approval become null and void after four months.
  15. Inter-jurisdictional Agreements- We oppose inter-jurisdictional agreements with any state that prevents the Governor from controlling the Texas military forces, police, other emergency management personnel, and/or State of Texas resources. We support repeal of any existing agreements.
  16. Census- We support an actual count of United States citizens only, and oppose Census Bureau estimates and the collection of all other data.
  17. Preservation of Republican Form of Government- We support our republican form of government as set forth in the Texas Bill of Rights. We oppose initiative and referendum. We oppose socialism in any form. We support the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress in enacting legislation that prohibits any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of law, specifically foreign law (including Sharia Law), which is not in accordance with the United States or Texas Constitutions.

  18. Accountability-
    We support a transparent and accountable legislative process which includes a recorded and published vote and prohibits a legislative change without a vote. All content of any bill must be germane to the title of the act. We support that all bills presented in the United States Congress and Texas Legislature include citations to the authorizing constitutional provision, cost to implement, and impact on the family. We oppose omnibus legislation and the insertion of “pork barrel” funding for special interests. We oppose the use of signing statements by the President to circumvent the law.
  19. Line-Item Veto- We support strengthening the line-item veto authority of the Governor.
  20. Sunset Commission- We support a majority citizen-led Sunset Commission.
  21. Recall Elections- We support the right to recall our elected officials.
  22. Constitutional Convention- We oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution. We support the Texas Legislature rescinding its 1977 call for such a convention.
  23. Article V Convention- We support the Bill of Rights as written by our Founding Fathers and assert the authority of the 10th amendment. We urge our Texas State Legislators to call for a limited Article V Convention of States for the specific purpose of reducing the power of the federal government, including implementation of term limits. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by 3/4 of the states.
  24. Affirmative Action- We believe in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative Action casts doubt on minority achievement. True minority advancement must come from personal responsibility, accountability, and competitive excellence. We believe in Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind society.
  25. Property Rights- Property ownership and free enterprise, the foundation of our collective wealth, must not be abridged nor denied by government. We support legislation to protect these bedrock rights. Areas of concern are: annexation, eminent domain (including foreign entities), property forfeiture, extraterritorial jurisdiction, seizure for public or private development, natural resources and conservation easements, groundwater and/or mineral rights, nationalization of lands, and the preservation of our 4th Amendment right to privacy. Property owners should be notified of their rights with regard to condemnation, annexation, or easement; and the condemner should be required to petition a court of jurisdiction to show public necessity. Taking of property should result in immediate compensation of fair market value to the owner. These issues should be administered by elected officials accountable to voters.
  26. Water Rights- We support the decision made by the Texas Supreme Court rejecting regulation, regulatory taking, metering, and restricting production of individuals’ underground water. We support fair market value for the taking of an individual’s private water supply and groundwater rights of property owners.
  27. Protection from Extreme Environmentalists- We oppose environmentalism that obstructs legitimate business interests and private property use, including the regulatory taking of property by governmental agencies. We oppose the abuse of the Endangered Species Act to confiscate and limit the use of personal property and infringement on property owner’s livelihood. “Climate Change” is a political agenda promoted to control every aspect of our lives. We support the defunding of “climate justice” initiatives and the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and repeal of the Endangered Species Act.
  28. Homestead Protection- We support continuance of Texas’ homestead protection.
  29. Livestock and Pet Location- We support the repeal of the National Animal Identification System.
  30. Photo Traffic Enforcement Cameras- We oppose photo traffic enforcement cameras in the State of Texas.
  31. Drivers Licenses- We propose that every Texas driver’s license shall indicate whether the driver is a United States citizen. Licenses shall not be issued to anyone illegally in the country. The State of Texas shall not recognize as valid any state driver license photo where the person’s face is obscured.
  32. Defending American Citizens- We support continued Congressional investigations of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of specific political groups and individuals.
  33. Preserving Private Enterprise- We believe that goods and services which are not transported across state lines should not be subject to federal regulations, or regulated by any other level of government other than the minimum necessary to prevent disease, fraud, injury to others, or other infringement of citizens’ unalienable rights.
  34. Fairness Doctrine- We oppose any attempt by Congress or any federal agency to implement any policy comparable to the Fairness Doctrine as terminated in 1987.
  35. Employment Non-Discrimination Act and Laws- We oppose government regulations that coerce business owners and employees to violate their own consciences, beliefs, and principles.
  36. Government Intrusion into the Internet or Communications- We oppose any internet taxation and the government’s ability to shut down websites either directly or through intimidation without a warrant or judicial hearing. We oppose government access of cell phone data without a warrant.
  37. Government Surveillance- The State of Texas should forbid mass surveillance of citizens by government agencies, specifically mass video surveillance of public areas, and non-anonymized vehicle tracking for non-business purposes.

REFORMING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

  1. Direct Election of State Judges- We support our right to select our judges by direct vote. Jury Reform- We support the right to privacy and security of prospective jurors. Courts must show relevance in questioning jurors and balance the prospective juror’s right to privacy and lawyers’ need to know. We support the right to inform the jurors of their common law power to judge law, as well as the evidence, and to vote on the verdict according to their conscience.
  2. Administrative Justice- Citizens have a right to full participation in administrative law processes.
  3. Judicial Restraint- We support adopting the Constitutional Restoration Act and the principle of judicial restraint, which requires judges to interpret and apply, rather than make the law. We support judges who strictly interpret the law based on its original intent. We oppose judges who assume legislative powers.
  4. Remedies to Activist Judiciary- We call on Congress and the President to restrain activist judges. Congress should adopt the Judicial Conduct Act of 2005, and remove judges who abuse their authority. Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights. We support the repeal of all Federal statutes regarding lifetime judicial appointments, and call for periodic reconfirmation of all Federal judges, including Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justices.
  5. American Law for American Courts (ALAC)- No foreign law or international edict shall preempt the United States Constitution or the Texas Constitution, or be used as the basis for any decision, except required by contract between the individual parties.
  6. Judicial Nominees- We urge Republican Senate leadership to ensure that a record vote is taken on every judicial nominee.
  7. Licensing- We support allowing any person to sit for the Texas State Bar Exam regardless of where he or she received their law education as long as criminal and ethical background requirements are met.
  8. Statutory Authority for Regulation- Defendants charged with violating a governmental regulation should have the right to see the enabling law.

RESTORING INTEGRITY TO OUR ELECTIONS

  1. Fair Election Procedures- We support modifications and the strengthening of election laws to ensure ballot integrity and fair elections. We support the Secretary of State strictly enforcing printing of Results Tapes for electronic voting for early voting and Election Day at polling locations after the polls close for all counties. We support increased scrutiny and security in balloting by mail, prohibition of internet voting and any electronic voting lacking a verifiable paper trail, prohibition of mobile voting, prosecution for election fraud with jail sentences, repeal of the unconstitutional Help America Vote Act, and assurance that each polling place has a distinctly marked, where possible, separate locations for Republican and Democrat primary voting. We support all means of protecting the integrity of our elections, including the optional use of paper ballots. We oppose countywide polling locations due to heightened potential for fraud.
  2. Voter Registration- We support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and reducing voter fraud. We support the repeal of all motor voter laws, re-registering voters every four years, requiring photo ID of all registrants, proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application, retention of the 30-day registration deadline, and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the Secretary of State in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.
  3. Residency Requirements- We support legislation that defines voter and candidate residence and is enforced by the Secretary of State.
  4. Voting Rights- We support equal suffrage for all United States citizens of voting age who are not felons. We oppose any identification of citizens by race, origin, or creed and oppose use of any such identification for purposes of creating voting districts. We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965, codified and updated in 1973, be repealed and not reauthorized.
  5. Protecting Active Military Personnel’s Right to Vote- We urge the Texas Secretary of State and the United States Attorney General to ensure that voting rights of our armed forces will neither be denied nor obstructed, and all valid absentee votes shall be counted.
  6. Felon Voting- We support the constitutional authority of state legislatures to regulate voting, including disenfranchisement of convicted felons.
  7. Candidate Eligibility- A candidate running for office should be required to reside within the geographical boundaries of the office sought. The Secretary of State shall be required to certify that state and federal candidates placed on ballots proffered in Texas meets the statutory requirements for the office sought. For federal offices, all candidates must submit written authorization for the Secretary of State to obtain a certified copy of the candidates’ birth certificate from the original issuing authority, so as to prove they are constitutionally eligible, in order to have their name placed on the general election ballot.
  8. Closed Primary- We support protecting the integrity of the Republican primary election by requiring a closed primary system in Texas.
  9. Campaign Contributions- We support full disclosure by political candidates of the amounts and sources of any campaign contributions, whether contributed by individuals, political action committees or other entities. We oppose reporting requirements that infringe on the free-speech rights of citizens. We urge immediate repeal of the McCain-Feingold Act.
  10. Electoral College- We support the Electoral College.
  11. Unions- We support legislation requiring labor unions to obtain consent of the union member before that member’s dues can be used for political purposes. We oppose card check.
  12. Texas Speaker of the House- We oppose the use of pledge cards and call for the Republican members to caucus after each November general election to determine by secure secret ballot, their candidate for Speaker. We also call for the Republican members to vote as a unified body for their selected speaker candidate when the legislature convenes in regular session.
  13. Censuring a Republican Office Holder for Cause- We support a rule allowing delegates of the State Convention, or the State Republican Executive Committee to censure a Republican officeholder for cause, including but not limited to consistent actions taken in opposition to principles of the Republican Party of Texas, defined in the preamble of the party platform as described in rule 43A.
  14. Conflicts of Interest- We support legislation prohibiting influencing or voting of any elected official or appointee where a conflict of interest exists. No such official should represent paying clients before a state agency.
  15. Lobbying Limitation- We support legislation to prohibit former officials and government employees from lobbying for a foreign government and/or any business for five years after leaving public service. We support legislation to prevent lobbying by any organization receiving federal grants except that relating to its tax status.
  16. Governor’s Veto- We support a Constitutional amendment permitting the Legislature to return for a three-day session in response to the Governor’s veto.
  17. Filibuster- We support the return to the traditional filibuster in the United States Senate.
  18. Consolidated Elections- All public elections, with the exception of specially called elections, should be consolidated to Primary and General Election days and locations.
  19. Enforcing the Platform- Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket, and such information should be available on the Party website.

HONORING THE SYMBOLS OF OUR AMERICAN AND TEXAN HERITAGE

  1. Symbols of American and Texan Heritage- We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American and Texan heritage. We oppose governmental action to remove the public display of the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols. We support the Pledge Protection Act. We urge that the national motto “In God We Trust” and National Anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack. Penalties should be established for any form of desecration of the American or Texas Flag. We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States. Resolved, that holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Columbus Day, St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the 4th of July as a historical holiday should remain on our governmental and public school calendars. We support preservation of Texas History and historical sites. Visitors to the Alamo should conduct themselves with decorum and reverence inside the Shrine out of respect for the sacrifice of the heroes who are honored there. We call for restoration of plaques honoring the Confederate Widow’s Pension Fund contribution that were illegally removed from the Texas Supreme Court building.

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE, AND PROMOTING HEALTH

CELEBRATING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE

  1. Family and Defense of Marriage- We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained,  legal and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman.
  • We support withholding jurisdiction from the federal courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
  • We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse, including granting benefits by political subdivisions.
  • We urge the legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support covenant marriage.
  1. Overturning Obergefell v. Hodges- We believe this decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be reversed, returning jurisdiction over the definition of marriage to the states. The Governor and other elected officials of the state of Texas should assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.
  2. Protection for Religious Institutions- We believe religious institutions have the freedom to recognize and perform only those marriages that are consistent with their doctrine.
  3. Family Values- We support the affirmation of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and oppose the continued assault on those values.
  4. Human Trafficking- We adamantly oppose any form of human trafficking.
  5. Homosexuality- Homosexuality is a chosen behavior contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nation’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
  6. Counseling and Therapy- No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to sexual orientation change efforts for self-motivated youth and adults.
  7. Pornography- We encourage the enforcement of laws regarding all forms of pornography.
  8. Gender Identity- We urge the enactment of legislation addressing individuals’ use of bathrooms, showers and locker rooms that correspond with their biologically determined sex.
  9. Right to Life- All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn, the aged, and the physically or mentally challenged have a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed.
  10. Roe v. Wade- We are resolute in our support of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
  11. Abolish Abortion- We call upon the Texas Legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life.
  12. Funding- We support the elimination of public funding or the use of public facilities to advocate, perform, or support elective abortions, embryonic stem cell research, research on fetal tissue, or human cloning.
  13. Planned Parenthood- We support completely eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood.
  14. Dismemberment Abortions- We strongly encourage the Texas Legislature to prohibit elective dismemberment abortions, a type of dilation and evacuation abortion, which take the life of preborn children by removing their limbs.
  15. Abortion Legislation- Until our final goal of total constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we support laws that restrict and regulate abortion including, but not limited to:
  1. Parental and informed consent;
  2. Prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
  3. Prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis;
  4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
  5. Prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
  6. Prohibition of partial-birth, late-term abortions
  7. The prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients (e.g. morning after pill);
  8. Eliminate causes of action for “wrongful birth.”
  9. Enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children;
  10. Health insurance coverage for abortion services and abortifacients, which under Texas law should be considered supplemental coverage and billed to the beneficiary.
  1. Candidate Support- The Republican Party of Texas should provide financial support only to those candidates who support the right to life planks.
  2. Alternatives to Abortion- We urge the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas legislature to assist in educating the public regarding alternatives to abortion, especially adoption.
  3. Human Embryos- We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.
  4. Fetal Tissue Harvesting and Stem Cell Research- We support legislation prohibiting experimentation or commercial use of human fetal tissue, which requires or is dependent upon the destruction of human life. We encourage adult stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means that does not kill human embryos.
  5. Human Cloning- We seek a ban on human cloning.
  6. Patient Protection- We support patients’ rights, especially near the end of life, and call for reform of existing legislation so that:
  1. Texas law should provide that medical personnel may not deny care, change advanced directives, or originate directives for any patient without the permission of the patient or the patient’s designate.
  2. No “Do Not Resuscitate” order may be ordered for a patient without his/her own or family’s knowledge and consent;
  3. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring hospitals intending or threatening to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the patient’s wishes or their advance directive to continue all treatment and care for such patients pending transfer to another facility.

PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN

  1. Parental Rights and Responsibilities- Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies that limit parental rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children shall not be enacted. Parents have the God given right and responsibility to direct and guide their children’s moral education.
  2. United Nations Treaty on the Rights of the Child- We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  3. Child Abuse Prevention- We believe that no individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child. An abused child should be given the option of declining visitation with his/her abuser.
  4. Adoption- We support reducing the time, bureaucracy, and cost of adoption. We oppose mandates that deny mothers a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children. We oppose mandatory open adoption. We oppose any government agency from forcing faith-based adoption or foster care organizations to place children with same-sex couples.

ASSISTING FAMILIES TO SELF SUFFICIENCY

  1. Welfare Reform- Welfare reform should encourage partnerships with faith based institutions, community, and business organizations to assist individuals in need. We encourage welfare reform in the following areas:
  1. Denying benefits to individuals who cannot prove citizenship;
  2. Welfare reforms should require recipients to work, learn, and train;
  3. Reforms should require recipients to remain substance-abuse free in exchange for temporary benefits not exceeding two years;
  4. Recipients should be required to submit to random drug testing in order to receive benefits;
  5. Welfare cards should be confined to food and vital essentials, and be issued with a photo of the approved user; and
  6. Prisoners should be removed from welfare rolls.
  1. Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Accountability- We believe that Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) investigations should only be done upon probable cause of harm to a child. Removal of a child from a home should be pursuant to a court order or in response to an immediate threat.
  2. Social Security- We support an immediate and orderly transition, with minimal or no impact to those at or near retirement, to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.
  3. Medicaid Reform- We support Medicaid block grants to the states and returning Medicaid to its original purpose – to be a temporary assistance. We oppose any further expansion of Medicaid.
  4. Gambling- We oppose the expansion of legalized gambling.
  5. Caring for our mentally disabled citizens- We urge the Legislature to continue funding and operating all state-supported living centers for the mentally disabled.

EMPOWERING FAMILIES TO DIRECT THEIR HEALTH CARE

  1. Health Care- Health care decisions, including routine preventative care such as immunizations, should be between a patient and health care professional and should be protected from government intrusion. Abortion is not healthcare. Government has no right to mandate specific medical procedures or methods of healthcare.
  2. Parental Consent- We support parental consent for all medical care, counseling, etc., for all minors.
  3. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”)- We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional.
  4. Health Care Choice- We urge the passage of health care reform which results in more affordable healthcare through a market-based, competitive, and transparent health care system, including tort reform, interstate competition, health savings accounts, genuine accountability and oversight.
  5. Medical Records and Informed Consent- We oppose any state or federal medical record computer database or registry (with exception to diseases that are a public health threat, i.e., HIV and/or Tuberculosis), which stores personal identifiable records on citizens without their written consent.
  6. Conscience Clause- All persons and legal entities have the right of conscience, and should be protected under Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. This includes, but is not limited to, abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, harmful futile procedures, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.

EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN

LOCAL CONTROL AND TRANSPARENCY OF CURRICULUM AND FUNDING

  1. Local Control for Education-Quality education is best achieved by encouraging parental involvement, protecting parental rights and maximizing local independent school district (ISD) control. District superintendents and staff should be made solely accountable to their locally elected boards. We support sensible consolidation of local school districts. We encourage local ISDs to consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of accepting federal money.
  2. Basic Standards- The educational system should focus on basic standards which include, but is not limited to: a curriculum of reading (with an emphasis on phonics), spelling, writing, the arts, music, literature, mathematics, geography, economics, civics, and United States and World History. We encourage teaching critical thinking skills, including logic, rhetoric and analytical sciences within these subjects.
  3. Career and Technology Education- We support career and technology education in public school and ask for consideration to be given to public/private partnerships to better serve Texans in their career options.
  4. Funding- We support a simple, fair, and efficient method for financing our public school system. School districts that have an adequate tax base should be free to manage their finances without any state recapture of local funds. Those districts that do not have sufficient tax base should be provided resources from general state revenues to meet the Texas Constitution’s requirement of an efficient system of public free schools.
  5. Permanent School Fund- Since the Permanent School Fund is not paid by taxpayers, the principle balance should be safeguarded and not viewed as a source of additional funding for our state budget, but for its constitutionally intended purposes of instructional materials.
  6. Scientific Theories- We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories, such as life origins and environmental change. These should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
  7. Foreign Culture Charter Schools- Charter schools should have accountability and transparency to local parents, taxpayers, and the State of Texas, as do current public schools, including United States citizenship of public school trustees. We oppose public funding of charter schools which receive money from foreign entities.
  8. National Core Curriculum- We oppose use of national or international standards in the State of Texas (i.e. Common Core, CSCOPE, United Nations Inclusion, etc.) We also oppose the modification of college entrance exams to reflect any national core philosophies. Any ISDs that violate state law banning the use of a national core curriculum or standards shall lose all state funding until said curriculum or standards are removed and no longer utilized in classrooms.
  9. Textbook Approval and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)- The Texas Education Code (TEC) must be amended to empower the State Board of Education (SBOE) to require each ISD that adopts non-state approved instructional materials to conform to the SBOE higher approval process to protect citizens’ right to petition, correct factual errors, prevent corruption and fulfill legislative intent in the TEC. Local ISD Boards must hold public hearings prior to adoption on such materials and citizens should have access to review classroom materials upon request at any time. We encourage the Texas Legislature to develop a review and compliance process to ensure that Texas’ local school districts’ curriculum complies with the TEKS standards and if not funding should be denied.

PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY

  1. Responsibility of the State in Education- The State of Texas shall acknowledge that the education of children is primarily the responsibility of parents/guardians. The state’s role is to help facilitate that responsibility, without interference.
  2. Parental Rights – The rights of parents to raise and educate their children is fundamental.
  1. Parents have the right to withdraw and/or opt-out their child from any specialized program or psychological testing.
  2. The State of Texas shall protect, at all costs, the privacy of its students, requiring written parental consent for student participation in any test or questionnaire that survey beliefs, feelings, or opinions.
  3. We oppose mandatory pre-school and kindergarten.
  4. We oppose teaching of values clarification that focus on behavior modification.
  5. Taxpayer rights include the ability to review course materials and curriculum at any time.
  6. We urge the legislature to enact penalties for violation of these rights.
  1. Health Care- Legislators shall prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools. We support parents’ right to choose, without penalty, which medications are administered to their minor children.
  2. Sex Education- We respect parental authority regarding sex education. We support the teaching of biology of reproduction and abstinence until marriage. We should prohibit entities and their affiliates that contradict our beliefs from conducting sex education and/or teacher training in public schools. We oppose all policies and curriculum that teach alternate lifestyles including homosexuality, transgender and other non-traditional lifestyles as normal.

AMERICAN IDENTITY, PATRIOTISM

  1. American Identity- We favor strengthening our common American identity, which includes the contribution and assimilation of diverse racial and ethnic groups. Students shall pledge allegiance to the United States and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property.
  2. Bilingual Education- We encourage non-English speaking students to transition, via best practices, to English within one year, allowing them to quickly assimilate and succeed in American society.
  3. Traditional Principles in Education- We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political, and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and Founders’ writings. We strongly oppose lionizing any of the world’s great religious groups, and demonizing another, in so much as it discriminates one over another.
  4. Special Treatment- Our state universities and public schools shall not make special concessions based on religious practices, which create undue burdens and costs for the institution.

HIGHER EDUCATION

  1. College Tuition- We oppose in-state college tuition for illegal aliens.
  2. Equal Access- All Texas students shall have equal access to all state supported grants, scholarships and loans, based upon measurable academic criteria. Illegal aliens shall not be eligible for state or federal grants. We support the suspension of Federal funding from universities that prohibit military recruitment on campus.
  3. Higher Education- We support Texas college admissions based solely on merit. We oppose restrictions on free speech and support unencumbered discourse while opposing penalties or other retributions for such in institutions of higher learning.
  4. Tenure- We support frequent post-tenure review to maintain the quality of the teaching staff.

GOVERNANCE

  1. Facility Utilization- We support public school facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms and showers being reserved for the use of students based on biological birth gender.
  2. Juvenile Daytime Curfew- We strongly oppose juvenile daytime curfews.
  3. Political Community Organizing- Texas public schools shall not be used nor their students instructed by outside groups or other community organizers as instruments to promote political agendas during the instructional school day.
  4. Religious Freedom in Public Schools- We urge school administrators and officials not to infringe on Texas school students’ and staff’s 1st Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents, including the Bible as their basis. Students and district personnel have the right to display religious items on school property.
  5. University Interscholastic League (UIL) Participation- We encourage the legislature to investigate ways to allow nonpublic school students to participate in UIL activities, presuming adherence to the same academic standards and review required of public school students.
  6. State Board of Education (SBOE)- We believe that the SBOE should continue to be an elected body consisting of fifteen members. Their responsibilities must include:
  1. Appointing the Commissioner of Education
  2. Maintaining constitutional authority over the Permanent School Fund
  3. Maintaining sole authority over all curricula content and the state adoption of all educational materials. This process must include public hearings.
  4. The SBOE should be minimally staffed out of general revenue.
  1. Supporting Military Families in Education- Existing truancy laws conflict with troop deployments. We believe that truancy laws should be amended to allow 5 day absence prior to deployments and rest and relaxation. We support the waiver of out-of-state tuition for any dependent of military personnel stationed in Texas.
  2. United States Department of Education- Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished, and prohibit the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.
  3. Zero Tolerance- Because zero tolerance policies fail to take circumstances into account for punishment, we oppose zero tolerance policies.

SCHOOL CHOICE

  1. We believe that all children should have access to quality education. We support the right to choose public, private, charter, or home education. We support the distribution of educational funds in a manner that they follow the student to any school, whether public, private, charter, or home school through means of tax exemptions and/or credits.

PROMOTING INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND PERSONAL SAFETY

  1. Judeo-Christian Nation- As America is a nation under God, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship as they choose.
  2. Right to Keep and Bear Arms- We strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, the taxation and regulation of guns, ammunition, and gun magazines. We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation, whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well. We call for the elimination of all gun free zones. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas. Firearms and ammunition manufactured and sold in the state of Texas are not covered under the Commerce Clause (Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution) and therefore are not subject to federal regulation.
  3. Freedom of Assembly- Because we believe in the freedom of assembly, we urge repeal of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Law. Those who assault peaceful protesters acting under the Constitution should be vigorously prosecuted. Picketing and literature distribution do not fall under the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
  4. Safeguarding Religious Liberties- We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity, and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the 1st Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. Tax deductions for charitable contributions are not government subsidies and give no authority for government oversight. Americans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer in public places. We urge the legislature to increase the ability of faith based institutions and other organizations to assist the needy and to reduce regulation of such organizations. We also support vigorously protecting the rights of commercial establishments to refuse to provide any service or product that would infringe upon freedom of conscience of religious expression of the commercial establishments as stated in the 1st Amendment.
  5. Empowering Local Entities Concerning Religious Meetings- We support the right of local entities to determine their own policies regarding religious clubs and meetings on all properties owned by the same, without interference.
  6. Freedom of Conscience- That legislation at the state and federal level be passed that concretely defines public accommodations as originally defined and understood in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that it prohibit any expansion of that legal definition by any federal, state or local law to expand government control to restrict any First Amendment rights; and to proscribe any law that requires any private business or individual to create or provide a custom product or service, or any kind of expressive work, or enter into a contract, or be coerced into any speech that is not their own.
  7. Electronic Privacy Internet Access- We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications and data mining except in cases directly involving national security, by court order. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any national ID program, including the Real ID Act and the use of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) on humans. We support a free and open internet – free from intrusion, censorship, or control by government or private entities.
  8. Texas Electric Grid – We urge that the Texas Legislature pass legislation to harden the Texas Electric Grid against:
  1. Cyber attacks on the grid’s computerized command and control system.
  2. Physical attacks on substations and major high voltage transformers.
  3. Geomagnetic storms created by solar flares from the sun.
  4. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
  1. Smart Meters- The Republican Party of Texas supports a no-cost opt out for all Texas PUC customers and the phase out of Smart Meters aka Advanced Meter Infrastructure to be replaced with mechanical, non-transmitting analog meters when software upgrades are required or the computer smart meters require replacement due to mechanical failure or model upgrade requirements.
  2. Capital Punishment- Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be reasonably swift and unencumbered.
  3. Child Abuse- We recognize the family as a sovereign authority over which the state has no right to intervene, unless a parent or legal guardian has committed criminal abuse. Child abusers should be severely prosecuted. We oppose actions of social agencies to classify traditional methods of discipline, including corporal punishment, as child abuse. As a condition of funding, publicly funded agencies are to report all instances of abuse.
  4. Unborn Victims of Violence- We believe a person who injures or kills an unborn child should be subject to criminal and civil litigation.
  5. Sexual Assault- Adults convicted of sexual molestation of a minor should receive mandatory prison sentences without probation or parole up to and including capital punishment. We support increasing the penalty for failure to report child sexual assault cases, and we urge vigorous prosecution of such failure.
  6. Property Search and Seizure without Due Process- We need to reinstate the rights embodied in the 4th Amendment that have been rendered null and void by activist courts and government overreach. We urge the Legislature to abolish civil asset forfeiture and to ensure private property only be forfeited upon a criminal conviction.
  7. Restricting Arrest Powers- Republican Party of Texas calls upon the Texas Legislature to authorize the arrest and jailing of individuals only for offenses for which jail is a punishment or to prevent family violence.
  8. Juries- We support the notification to juries of their rights and powers (including jury nullification.)
  9. Illicit Drugs- We oppose legalization of illicit and synthetic drugs. We also oppose any needle exchange programs. Faith based rehabilitation programs should be considered as a part of an overall rehabilitation program.
  10. Compassionate Use Act – We call upon the Texas Legislature to improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to prescribed patients.

STRENGTHENING THE ECONOMY

GOVERNMENT SPENDING

  1. Government Spending is out of control at the federal level and the state level, and action is needed. We urge Congress and the Texas State Legislature to become fiscally responsible by immediately enacting the following items:
  1. Adopt a balanced budget by cutting spending without increasing tax rates, debt, or adding new taxes and capping spending with a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as calculated prior to 2009
  2. Support the implementation of a federal balanced budget amendment only if the above criteria are met
  3. Adopt zero-based budgeting at all levels of government
  4. Adopt a policy of requiring public audits of each governmental department at least every three years
  5. Oppose the use of “earmarks” as a part of the budget and spending process
  1. Spending Limitations- Amend the Texas Constitution and state statute with a stricter spending limitation based on population growth and inflation, and apply the new limit to all General Revenue and General Revenue-dedicated state spending.
  2. Two-Thirds Vote- Require a two-thirds vote to override the constitutional spending limit.
  3. Truth in Taxing- We urge that taxes established for a particular purpose shall not be used for any other purpose.
  4. Bailouts and Subsidies- We encourage government to divest its ownership of all business that should be run in the private sector and allow the free market to prevail. We oppose all bailouts of domestic and foreign government entities, states and all businesses, public and private. We oppose local government handouts to businesses and other private entities in the name of economic development.
  5. Permissible Uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Funds)- Amend the Texas Constitution to narrow the permissible uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund to cover revenue shortfalls in the current biennium, debt retirement, one-time infrastructure projects, and expenses related to a state of disaster as declared by the Governor.
  6. Improper Government Funding- We support enforcement of current law prohibiting public assets being used for private groups, such as ACLU, ACORN, and Planned Parenthood without proper vetting and authorization and urge the Texas Legislature to enact civil and criminal penalties for violation of the law which currently has no enforcement mechanism.
  7. Gambling Tax Revenues- We oppose gambling because we believe that gambling tax revenues are unreliable as a source of funding for any government activities. And gambling is damaging to those in the lowest income quintiles.
  8. Unnecessary Medical Procedures for Prisoners- We believe no extraordinary medical care such as sex-change operations, hormonal medications, or gender-altering therapies should be provided to prisoners at the expense of the taxpayers.

GOVERNMENT BURDENS

  1. Tax Burden- We in the Republican Party of Texas believe in the principles of constitutionally limited government based on Federalist principles. To this end we encourage our elected officials at all levels of government to work to reverse the current trend of expanding government and the growing tax and debt burdens this places on we the people. We believe the most equitable system of taxation is one based on consumption and wish to see reforms towards that end at all levels of government Furthermore, we believe that the borrower truly is a slave to the lender, and so long as we continue to increase our tax and debt burdens we will never be a truly free people. Towards these ends, we support the reformation of the current systems of taxation at all levels of government: federal, state, and local. Examples of these reforms include the following:
  1. Eliminating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  2. The “Fair Tax” system
  3. A Flat Tax
  4. The 1-2-3 No Federal Tax
  5. Abolishing property taxes, but in the interim, property taxes should be paid on the price of the property when it was initially purchased.
  6. Electing appraisal boards
  7. Exempting inventories from property taxes
  8. Abolishing estate taxes or the “Death Tax” as it’s more commonly known
  9. Abolishing capital gains taxes
  10. Abolishing franchise and business income taxes
  11. Abolishing the gift tax.
  12. Discontinuing revenue generating licensing fee
  1. State Income Tax Ban- We support maintaining the current ban on state income taxes in Texas.
  2. Real Estate Transaction Tax-We oppose any creation of a real estate transaction tax.
  3. Bond Elections- State and local bond election ballots should be required to include the amount of debt currently outstanding, current debt service payments, current per capita debt obligations, the amount of new debt being proposed, estimated debt service for the new debt, and estimated per capita burden being proposed. Any bond election (state or local) must pass with at least a ⅔ majority of voters to affirm the bond. The bond issue must obtain a yes vote of a minimum of 20% of registered voters. All elections of personnel responsible for adopting a budget and a property tax rate and all elections involving bond indebtedness shall be held on the November uniform election date and administered by the County Clerk or the County Elections Administrator. Any government entity should not spend taxpayer dollars in promoting further indebtedness or spending of taxpayer dollars via mass media. We oppose bundling of items on bond election ballots.

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY

  1. Public Posting- We support statewide, local taxing entities, and government entities compiling and publicly posting their current debt, future obligations, financial statements, and local government contracts on their official websites.
  2. Government Accountability- We call upon the State Legislature to eliminate all special collective bargaining statutes for public employees and hold all public servants accountable to taxpayers through existing civil statutes. We support publication by Government entities of all contributions, concessions, and discounts received by an entity from lobbyists.
  3. Government Authority- We believe any government authority that has the ability to level a tax or fee on the people should be accountable to those who pay the taxes via the electoral process from the local level to the federal level.

DOWNSIZING GOVERNMENT

  1. Taxation by a Foreign Entity- We believe that any attempt to allow the United Nations or any other foreign entity to levy taxes on United States citizens or governments should be rejected.
  2. Federal Reserve System- We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 thereby abolishing the Federal Reserve Banking System. In the interim, we call for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve System and its Board of Governors followed by an immediate report to the American people.
  3. Sound Money- We support the return to the precious metal standard for the United States dollar.
  4. Export-Import Bank- The Export-Import Bank should not be re-authorized after expiration on June 30th. Investigations into corruption and fraud related to the Export-Import Bank should be fully prosecuted and including prison sentences and fines for those ultimately found guilty.
  5. Repeal Dodd-Frank- We support the immediate repeal of Dodd-Frank legislation and replace with the Glass-Steagall Act.
  6. Community Reinvestment Act- We support the repeal of the Community Reinvestment Act.
  7. Lending Institutions- We support the sunset of Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).
  8. Congressional Pay and Benefits- We recommend that the Congressional retirement system be abolished, and all funds accrued to date revert to the social security fund.
  9. Special Funds- We urge the Texas legislature to abolish the Event Trust Funds and the Texas Enterprise Fund.
  10. Management Districts- We oppose the creation of management or special purpose districts with the authority to impose taxes and bond debt and oppose the use of eminent domain by these districts.
  11. Restrictions by Government Agencies- We oppose any restrictions by any government agency on individual taxpayer contributions to churches, faith-based charities and other non-profit organizations.
  12. Law Basis for Regulations- We urge that all regulations written should be sent to the originating committee of the supporting legislation for approval before being implemented.
  13. Telecommunications Investment- We support removal of regulatory roadblocks to greater investment in telecommunications infrastructure.
  14. Frivolous Lawsuits- We support further reform to discourage frivolous lawsuits. We oppose the abusive use of class action lawsuits.

BUSINESS

  1. Business Right to Choose- We support a business owner’s right to conduct their business as they see fit.
  2. Right to Work- We oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (Card Check) and any action that eliminates the secret ballot or requires an employee to be forced to join or pay dues to any organization. Texas should prohibit governmental entities from collecting dues for labor union dues through deductions from public employee pay checks. We also encourage the adoption of a National Right to Work Act.
  3. Minimum Wage Repeal- We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.
  4. Prevailing Wage Law- We urge Congress to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law and the Davis Bacon Act.
  5. Workers Compensation- We urge the Legislature to resist making workers’ compensation mandatory for all Texas employers.
  6. Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation- In light of the high compliance costs imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and the destructive effects this law has had on innovation and capital formation, we support repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation and its replacement with a requirement for a standardized financial reporting format that maximizes transparency without causing undue financial burdens.
  7. Free Market for Utilities and Insurance- We encourage free market solutions for providing utilities whenever possible. We support that all types of insurance rates, to include (but not limited to) health, life, title, auto, and homeowners insurance should be set through free-market forces alone. We support efforts to shrink the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to reduce the liabilities it imposes on state taxpayers.
  8. Small Business- We urge the federal and state legislatures to reduce regulations on small businesses and home based work.
  9. Review of Licensing Boards- We call upon the Texas Legislature to review all business /  professional licensing programs and associated licensing for boards for the purpose of abolishing as many as reasonably possible and repealing those laws, rules, and regulations that exist merely to generate revenue from the licensing process.
  10. Rural and Volunteer Fire Departments- We urge Congress to overturn the rules of the United States Department of Labor restricting volunteerism by paid firefighters and emergency medical technician personnel and protections similar to those provided to national guardsmen for service during declared emergencies.
  11. Hemp Cultivation- We support legislation allowing for industrial hemp cultivation in Texas.
  12. Raw Milk and Dairy Products- We support legislation confirming local dairy farmers’ rights to produce and sell natural milk and dairy products within the State of Texas.
  13. Direct Sales- We support allowing consumers in Texas to be able to purchase cars directly from manufacturers.
  14. Ride Sharing- We support legislative solutions to regulatory barriers for transportation entrepreneurship, to allow ride sharing companies to compete openly for business in our state.

TRANSPORTATION

  1. Transportation and Fuel Taxes- We call for all transportation and fuel taxes collected to be used for road construction, improvement, and maintenance only. We resolve that tax revenue derived from gasoline taxes and all other taxes/fees on our vehicles (including vehicle sales tax) should only be used for highway construction, and not be diverted to any other use, including mass transit, rail, restrictive lanes, and bicycle paths.
  2. Toll Roads- We believe that tolls should come off the road when the debt is retired, and if the debt is ever restructured or refinanced, the pay-off date needs to remain the same or receive voter approval in order to extend the toll tax longer. Maintenance should then revert to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). We oppose public-private partnerships, specifically regarding toll projects. We oppose conversion of existing roads or lanes to toll roads.
  3. Toll Road Funding- We oppose the use of taxpayer money to subsidize, guarantee, prop-up, or bail out any toll projects, whether public or private, and we call upon both state and federal lawmakers to adequately fund our highways without hidden taxes, tolls, or raiding emergency funds.
  4. Diversion of Property Taxes- We oppose the diversion of property taxes to build, subsidize, and/or guarantee the loans of toll projects, which is primarily being done through transportation reinvestment zones. The State needs to properly fund the Texas State highway system to prevent the use of local property taxes being diverted to state roads.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  1. Removal of Government Barriers- We support free market solutions and immediate removal of government barriers to the production and distribution of energy including restrictions on:
  • Export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) worldwide
  • Drilling, production operations and transportation of petroleum products on public and private lands and waters
  • Modernization of existing and construction of new refineries
  • Electric power generation and distribution
  • Federal gas mileage standards (CAFE standards) and fuel blends
  • Development and use of wind energy, coal-fired plants, solar, and nuclear power, and bio-sources without government subsidies.
  1. Oil and Gas Producing Counties- Counties with oil and gas production should receive a portion of the production taxes the state collects so that the road system can be maintained for the dual purpose of accommodating the needs of the industry and providing adequate public safety.
  2. Alternative Fuel- We urge the use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel and as complimentary fuel to gasoline and diesel.
  • We support the manufacture of vehicles that utilize natural gas as an alternative fuel and/or a complimentary fuel.
  • We support and encourage the conversion of existing private fleets to natural gas as a dual use fuel.
  • We support the use of natural gas in electric power generation and other industrial uses
  1. Ethanol- We support the repeal of legislation mandating ethanol as a fuel additive and/or primary fuel.
  2. Mineral Leasing and Development- We believe more Bureau of Land Management resources should be open to mineral leasing, and development be permitted.
  3. Carbon Dioxide- We oppose all efforts to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
  4. Cap and Trade- We oppose the implementation of any cap and trade (aka “Cap and Tax”) system through legislation or regulation.
  5. Tidelands/Water Resources and Rights to State Waters- We demand that the State of Texas and all coastal states enjoy and maintain jurisdiction and control of their offshore waters up to the international water boundaries as well as state inland waterways in regards to all natural resources therein, and that the federal government shall not set limits on harvesting or taking natural resources therein, nor allow foreign entities to harvest or take such natural resources therein, including minerals, game, fisheries, and hydrocarbons. Also, we demand that no entity shall usurp Texas’ original tideland boundaries

RETIREMENT

  1. Equitable Disbursement- We support the repeal of the Required Minimum Disbursement from retirement accounts and inheritances.
  2. Promises Kept- We support the repeal of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) of 2014 that reduces retirement benefits that were honestly earned.

UNITED STATES SOVEREIGNTY, LEADERSHIP, CITIZENSHIP, AND FOREIGN POLICY

UNITED STATES SOVEREIGNTY

  1. National Sovereignty- The United States is and must remain a sovereign nation independent of all foreign entities with power held solely by the people. Therefore, we insist that the President and Congress defend our national sovereignty in accordance with their oaths of office. The United States government must remain free of all external control and influence.
  2. National Defense- We support a strong national defense that protects United States interests, freedoms and sovereignty at home and abroad.
  3. Citizenship- We call on the United States Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that defines citizenship as those born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization.
  4. United States Ports- We object to any foreign entity including governments, states, and companies owning or managing United States ports.
  5. United Nations- The United Nations is a detriment to the sovereignty of the United States and other countries, and because of this we support:
  • Our withdrawal from the current United Nations
  • The removal of the United Nations from United States soil
  • The rejection of all Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 policies and programs
  • The rejection of all related NGO’s, Councils, and Environmental Programs
  • A zero budget allotment of American tax dollars to any United Nations programs
  • The opposition of any designation of World Heritage Sites in the United States and especially in Texas.
  1. Internet Freedom- We support continued stewardship of the Domain Name System (DNS) by the US Department of Commerce over Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in order to guarantee continued worldwide freedom of speech on the internet.

MILITARY

  1. Support of our Armed Forces- The men and women who wear our country’s uniform, whether on active duty or in the Reserves or National Guard, are the most important assets in our military arsenal. They and their families must have the pay, health care, housing, education and overall support they need. Injured military personnel deserve the best medical, mental health and rehabilitative care our country has to offer. We must always remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice; their families must be assured meaningful financial assistance. It is the solemn duty we owe and honor we give to those who bravely don the uniform of freedom. We support our government in continuing to seek and act upon all information concerning our military personnel and other citizens listed as Missing in Action or Prisoners of War. Veterans Administration monetary benefits shall match present national price index value in all programs.
  2. All Volunteer Force – We call for the removal of draft registration and to continue to have an all volunteer armed forces.
  3. Women in Combat- We oppose the use of women in military combat units.
  4. Gender Norming in the Military- We oppose gender norming in the military.
  5. Defense- We support restoring the military to maximum readiness, as defined by the military.
  6. Arming the Military on Military Bases- We call for base commanders to provide sufficient armament of military personnel on military bases to provide for their self-defense.
  7. Strategic Defense Initiative- We urge the United States Congress to continue funding the Strategic Defense Initiative for missile defense. We further call for renewed efforts and funding for nuclear shield development and for its immediate implementation for the United States and its allies.
  8. Military Rules of Engagement- Military Rules of Engagement, as defined by the President or Congress, should not preclude the safety nor deny the immediacy of tactical decision making of the military personnel in the field. Military personnel shall not be criminally or civilly liable for reasonable actions taken in the field.
  9. Returning Veterans- We support the accommodation and reintegration of our troops once their military commitment has expired. Returning veterans must have access to educational benefits, job training, and a wide variety of employment options.
  10. Veteran’s Administration- We are outraged by the mistreatment given to our military veterans. The Veteran’s Administration must continue to become more responsive and more efficient by eliminating its backlog and reducing wait times for treatment.
  11. NASA- We strongly encourage the federal government and NASA to work with American citizens and American businesses to research and develop a new vehicle to continue human space flight and maintain America’s leadership in space exploration.
  12. Toxic Exposure- We support the passage of the Toxic Exposure Act of 2015 which will ensure that the Federal Government will establish a database on all exposed veterans and their families.

FOREIGN POLICY

  1. Foreign Policy- We support a foreign policy that relies on peace through the strength of our national defense and avoids foreign deployments or entanglements. We support free market enterprise, private humanitarian aid to developing countries, continued favorable treatment of proven allies, censure of adversarial entities that seek destruction of other countries and strong policy on confronting terrorists. We strongly oppose religious or ethnic cleansing. We oppose U.S. aid to any foreign entity that consistently votes against our interests or is openly hostile to our nation.
  2. Foreign Aid- We support foreign aid only to our allies in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval.
  3. International Trade- We support free trade as a necessary component of American capitalism and of the United States’ influence in the world. We strongly oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We demand the immediate withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). We demand the repeal of the current Fast Track Authority/TPA.
  4. International Organizations- We support United States withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank.
  5. Israel- The United States should continue to support Israel militarily, financially and technologically. The United States Embassy in Israel should be located in the undivided capital city of Jerusalem. We oppose any pressuring of Israel to make concessions they believe would jeopardize their security. Our policy is inspired by God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise. We strongly oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and no Texas government agency should conduct business with any company or country that knowingly participates in the BDS movement.
  6. Mexico- We support ongoing economic partnership between Texas and Mexico, and between the United States and Mexico. We support aggressive military and law enforcement cooperation to address corruption, the drug cartels, and human trafficking. We support Mexico’s efforts to privatize their nationalized industries in order to strengthen their economy.
  7. Taiwan- We support full diplomatic recognition of Taiwan as an independent and sovereign nation and to renew its commitment to defend our security interests in the Western Pacific in the face of China’s military provocations.
  8. Benghazi- We call upon the United States House of Representatives to continue the select committee and appoint a special prosecutor in order to subpoena testimony to fully investigate all aspects of the Benghazi debacle.
  9. Council on American-Islamic Relations- We hereby call on all law enforcement and governmental agencies in Texas to avoid and suspend all contact and outreach activities with the Council on American Islamic-Relations (CAIR) named unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Trial with ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas.
  10. Refugee Resettlement Program- We urge the Governor to immediately notify the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary that Texas is withdrawing from the Refugee Resettlement Program joining twelve other states that have also and will no longer provide state funds toward the Refugee Resettlement Program.
  11. Iran and North Korea- We oppose development of nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea, and oppose easing sanctions on either country until their hostile behavior and nuclear proliferation cease.

IMMIGRATION

  1. Border Security Funding- We expect both the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress to make a priority of allocating funds to effectively secure the border through whatever means necessary, including but not limited to barriers, personnel, and technology over land, sea, and air.
  2. Consequences of Noncompliance- We support denial and/or withdrawal of public funds for entities, public and/or private, not in compliance with immigration laws, including sanctuary cities.
  3. Modernized Social Security Card- We support the improvement of our 1936 Social Security Card to use contemporary anti-counterfeit technology. The social security card will not be considered a National ID card for United States citizens.
  4. Border Wall- We support building a high wall with a wide gate in order to prevent illicit border crossings without preventing legal border crossings as one part of a complete border security plan. The wall will only be built where it is deemed effective and cost-efficient.
  5. Turn Off the Magnet- No tax dollars to be provided for social or educational programs for illegal aliens; rescinding existing laws providing for in-state tuition, non-emergency hospital care, requiring all employers to utilize E-verify systems to confirm the legal status of all new hires; rejection of non-verifiable foreign issued identification cards as legally valid in the United States.
  6. Interstate Border Security Compact- The Governor of Texas formally shall name a compact advisory group and begin the process to enter into an interstate compact allowing the participating states to enforce existing federal immigration laws; and that the Texas Legislature support all efforts by the Texas Governor to enter into a border security interstate compact and gain operational control of the border.
  7. Amnesty- Any form of amnesty with regard to immigration policy should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally.
  8. Enforce Immigration Laws- We demand that state and federal law enforcement officers enforce our immigration laws, and expedite hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants and visa overstays.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

We, the delegates of the 2016 Republican Party of Texas State Convention, call upon the 85th Texas Legislature to:

  1. Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes.
  2. Abolish abortion by enacting legislation to stop the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life.
  3. Prioritize the allocation of funds to effectively secure the border through whatever means necessary, including but not limited to barriers, personnel, and technology over land, sea, and air, because the federal government refuses to secure the southern border of Texas.
  4. Call for a limited Article V convention of states for the specific purpose of restricting the power of the federal government, including the implementation of term limits, and balanced budget amendment. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by ¾ of the states.
  5. And to replace the property tax system with an alternative other than the income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.

We request the Republican State Chair and the State Republican Executive Committee to utilize reasonable Party resources necessary to promote and support passage. It should be understood that these five priorities are not meant to diminish the requirement for the legislature to address the full platform of planks.

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