Committee on Ways and Means

Dave Camp

Johnson, Becerra Developing Legislation to Stop the Payment of Social Security Benefits to Nazi War Criminals

2014/10/23

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Ranking Member Xavier Becerra (D-CA) announced today that they are working together on legislation to stop all payment of Social Security benefits to Nazis and others who actively assisted in Nazi crimes.

“Like all Americans, I was stunned to learn that those responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents have received millions in Social Security benefits due to a loophole in the law.  By leaving the country voluntarily, instead of being deported, these murderers were able to keep their benefits.  Congress must stop these benefit payments now,” said Johnson.

“It's unacceptable that some of the most heinous perpetrators of war crimes are receiving Social Security benefits on account of a loophole," said Becerra.  "Social Security must be preserved for hard-working individuals who’ve earned it, not for participants in the atrocities of the Holocaust. The horrific crimes of the Holocaust must never be forgiven or forgotten."

The legislation will:

  • Reaffirm the longstanding American view that Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust engaged in a uniquely horrifying form of evil, and that the genocide they committed must be punished. 
  • Amend the law to stop benefit payments to those stripped of U.S. citizenship due to participation in Nazi activities or who voluntarily renounced their citizenship due to such participation. (Those who are judicially deported are already ineligible for Social Security under current law.)
  • Require a report to Congress on the number of Nazis whose benefits have been terminated by the Social Security Administration. 

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Committee Seeks Key Administration Witness in IRS Scandal, Treasury Tells Congress ‘Not Until After the Election’

2014/10/22

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) wrote to Department of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew regarding the Administration’s refusal to produce a key witness for interview prior to the election.  The Committee is seeking to speak with Hannah Stott-Bumstead, who was the first Treasury official informed that the IRS had “lost” two years of Lois Lerner emails.

In the letter, Camp stated, “Some of the key questions remaining in the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservatives groups are: who at the White House knew what was going on; when did they know it; and, what action did they take upon learning about it?  Your office is now refusing to make available until after the election the very person that could unlock that mystery.  This is completely unacceptable, especially for an Administration that once pledged to be the most open and transparent ever.”

In addition to providing the Treasury counsel for an interview without delay, Camp also requested the following information:

  • Besides Hannah Stott-Bumstead, provide the names and titles of all Treasury employees that were informed of the Lerner email loss before Congress was informed on June 13, 2014.

  • Provide the names and titles of all Treasury employees that informed the White House of the Lerner email loss before June 13, 2014.  Identify who at the White House was informed, the date, and the substance of any communications.

  • Provide the reasoning, if any, that Treasury and the White House waited over two months to inform Congressional investigators of the email loss.

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Where Are the Jobs Update

2014/10/22

“Four years ago, President Obama began to pull our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, while laying the foundation for an economy built to last.  We’ve come a long way – but there’s more to do.  Take a look at the goals the President has set to move this country forward.…CREATE 1 MILLION NEW MANUFACTURING JOBS BY 2016.”

Source: President Obama, Organizing for Action website, 2012

Now (2014)

Two years after the President’s 2012 pledge, we’re not even close to the halfway point of creating 1 million new manufacturing jobs by 2016.  Between November 2012 and September 2014, just 203,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created:

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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U.S. Child Poverty Rates by Family Structure in Context

2014/10/15

Facts:

Almost 46 percent of children living in female headed single parent families were in poverty in contrast to only 9.5 percent of children in married couple families…” (Source: Where’s the Outrage? Robert Doar)

Context:

The poverty rate for children raised in the U.S. by single parents (46%) is higher than the overall poverty rate in Rwanda (44.9%).  The poverty rate for children raised in the U.S. by married parents (9.5%) is lower than the overall poverty rate in Beverly Hills, CA (10%). 

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Bill to Improve Post-Acute Care for Medicare Beneficiaries Becomes Law

2014/10/06

Washington, DC – Today, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening and improving post-acute care for Medicare beneficiaries while bringing about more accountable, quality-driven benefits to patients.  The IMPACT Act also strengthens Medicare’s oversight of hospice care by ensuring that Medicare dollars are spent efficiently and that high quality care is provided.

The bill was introduced in the House by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI).

The IMPACT Act moves forward on the long-standing policy goal of collecting standardized data from Medicare post-acute care (PAC) providers.  It will align Medicare PAC providers and create a more accountable, quality-driven PAC benefit.

Specifically, the IMPACT Act requires data standardization that enables Medicare to:

  • Compare quality across different PAC settings;
  • Improve hospital and PAC discharge planning; and,
  • Use this information to reform PAC payments (via site neutral or bundled payments or some other reform) while ensuring continued beneficiary access to the most appropriate setting of care.

This information will allow future payment reforms to be driven by quality and efficiency while protecting beneficiary access to appropriate services.

The IMPACT Act was largely shaped by input received from the post-acute care community after a discussion draft was released in March of this year, resulting in policy and legislative recommendations from more than 70 stakeholders in the healthcare community.


For more information on the IMPACT Act, please click here.

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Administration's Revisionist History: Putting the Economy's "Incredible Progress" in Perspective

2014/10/06

Now (October 2014)

“Our economy is making incredible progress.” For example, 5.9 percent unemployment is “a number many economists didn’t think we’d see for years.” 

Sources: White House press release and email from CEA Chairman Jason Furman, October 3, 2014.


Then (January 2009)

The Obama Administration predicted that, with Democrats’ stimulus plan, the U.S. unemployment rate would fall to 5.9 percent by early 2012.  Even without stimulus, the Administration forecast the unemployment rate would fall to 5.9 percent by late 2012 – that is, two years ago.

Source: Administration’s January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report.

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Camp Statement on September Jobs Report

2014/10/03

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement on the September jobs report.


"While the economy is creating jobs, the fact remains we are stuck in a Carter-like economy in which millions of Americans have simply given up.  For those lucky enough to be working, wages are flat and middle-class families are struggling to keep up with their bills.  The Administration must do more to strengthen this economy.  That includes getting the Democrat-controlled Senate to act on over 40 jobs bills the House has passed, as well as more aggressively pursuing job-creating trade deals and tax reform that can put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans."

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Democrat Stimulus Architect Admits “the Economy’s Problems,” not “Economic Greatness”

2014/10/02

Democrat Stimulus Architect Admits “the Economy’s Problems,” not “Economic Greatness

Then: The January 2009 Romer-Bernstein Report predicts 5 percent unemployment by now.

Sources: January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report ("Administration Prediction With Stimulus Plan”),
and Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (“Actual”).

Now: Jared Bernstein, “How the Jobless Rate Underestimates the Economy’s Problems,” October 2, 2014

  • The economy is not growing as it should: “(T)here’s considerable slack, in terms of underutilized resources, in the American economy in general and the labor market in particular.”

  • The economy has been lagging “for years now”: “They’ve (i.e. the Federal Reserve) been providing extensive monetary stimulus to the lagging economy for years now…”

  • Millions of people are still underemployed: “(T)here are over seven million involuntary part-time workers, almost 5 percent of the labor force, who want, but can’t find, full-time jobs. That’s still up two percentage points from its pre-recession trough.”

  • Millions more have given up on finding work: “Once you give up looking for work, you’re no longer counted in the unemployment rate, so if a bunch of people exit the labor force because of the very slack we’re trying to measure, it artificially lowers unemployment, making a weak labor market look better. That’s certainly happened over the recession and throughout the recovery, but it’s been mixed in with a more benign source of labor force exits: the retirement of aging baby boomers. So economists have scurried about trying to figure out how much of the three-percentage-point decline in the labor force participation rate, from about 66 to 63 percent, to attribute to slack and how much to so-called structural (vs. cyclical) factors. And the answer, according to the economist Jan Hatzius, is that about one percentage point, or about a third of the total, is because of slack. By itself (not accounting for the involuntary part-timers), that implies an unemployment rate more like 7 percent. That’s another 1.6 million people worth of slack, people who could get pulled back into the job market if the jobs were there.”

  • Wage growth has been “persistently slow”: “The persistently slow growth of wages in recent years is Exhibit A in the case for slack…”

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Uncertain 1st Anniversary for Affordable Care Act Rollout

2014/10/01

Washington, DC – House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) says one year after a disastrous rollout, the Affordable Care Act still isn't ready.

“Today, Americans were supposed to be able to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan for the second year, but the opening of 2015 enrollment was delayed till after the mid-term elections to avoid consumers finding out that much of the backend of Healthcare.gov still doesn’t work, and that they may face higher premiums and a more narrow network.

“As the broken promises mount – from your family will save $2,500 a year to you can keep the plan or doctor you like and trust and many more – it is clear to most Americans that this law is continues to do much more harm than good, especially when it comes to affordability and accessibility.  And, the worst may be yet to come as costs rise and employers cut worker’s hours or stop offering health insurance, and millions are still unsure what all this means come tax time.

“While this poorly written law has helped some, it has hurt many, many more.  One year later, too many families have had the plans they liked cancelled and can no longer see the local doctor they trusted.  That is not the health care reform they were promised.”

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ICYMI: Momentum for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Needs to be Revived

2014/10/01

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free-trade agreement that will knit the United States and 11 nations of South America, North America and Asia more closely together, while providing a geopolitical counterweight to a rising China. The pact would be especially valuable because Japan is willing to join, which would require a long-overdue opening and restructuring of its protected but lackluster economy. Indeed, without Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, the TPP loses much of its strategic significance.

So it was disappointing to learn that a Sept. 24 meeting between American and Japanese trade negotiators in Washington broke up after only an hour over the same old issue, Japanese resistance to U.S. farm exports, that has plagued the two nations’ dealings for decades. The Japanese departed without touching a sandwich buffet that had been laid out in anticipation of an extended working session, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is only the latest troubling development for the centerpiece of what was once meant to be President Obama’s foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. As 2014 began, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was promising to join the U.S.-led free-trade agreement as a spur to his own structural economic reforms. A bipartisan, bicameral group of senior U.S. lawmakers had agreed on a plan for “fast track” legislative authority to expedite a congressional vote on the TPP, once the 12 would-be members hammered out a final deal. Bucking resistance from trade skeptics in his own party, Mr. Obama had offered a friendly reference to that proposal in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

But Mr. Obama’s call was received coolly by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and by key Democratic constituencies such as organized labor. Foreign crises in the Middle East and Ukraine occupied the White House and Congress. Two champions of the bipartisan trade-promotion measure, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), retired or planned to retire from Congress. For all of Mr. Abe’s talk of bold steps and confronting special interests in Japan, his negotiators have not yet backed up the prime minister’s talk with concrete proposals, even though the prime minister has said repeatedly that opening agricultural markets is in Japan’s interest. The upshot is that momentum behind the TPP seems to be flagging and the administration’s goal of a tentative agreement by the end of 2014 is looking less feasible.

Vice President Biden tried to patch things up with Mr. Abe in a meeting on Friday, which produced a boilerplate pledge to seek an agreement. It will take more than that to revive the momentum for the TPP and close a deal. Back home, Mr. Abe needs to keep the pressure on special interests. Congress could reciprocate by moving ahead promptly with fast-track authority during the post-election lame-duck period — which will take political courage on its part, too.

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Chairman Tiberi Announces Hearing on Private Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

2014/09/17


Chairman Brady Announces Hearing on the Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation

2014/09/10


Chairman Reichert Announces Hearing on Social Impact Bonds: Can They Help Government Achieve Better Results for Families in Need?

2014/09/09


Markup of: H.R. 647, "ABLE Act of 2013"

2014/07/31


Chairman Reichert Announces Hearing on Subsidized Job Programs and their Effectiveness in Helping Families Go to Work and Escape Poverty

2014/07/30


Chairman Tiberi Announces Hearing on Dynamic Analysis of the Tax Reform Act of 2014

2014/07/30


Chairman Nunes Announces Hearing on Advancing the U.S. Trade Agenda: Trade with Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act

2014/07/29


Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on What Workers Need to Know About Social Security as They Plan for Their Retirement

2014/07/29


Chairman Brady Announces Hearing on the Future of Medicare Advantage Health Plans

2014/07/24


Boustany Announces Hearing on the Integrity of the Affordable Care Act’s Premium Tax Credit

2014/07/23


There is no media available for this committee.

Contact Information

1102 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3625
Fax 202-225-5680
waysandmeans.house.gov


Membership

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Charles Boustany

LOUISIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Dave Camp

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Tim Griffin

ARKANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Lynn Jenkins

KANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Erik Paulsen

MINNESOTA's 3rd DISTRICT

Tom Price

GEORGIA's 6th DISTRICT

Tom Reed

NEW YORK's 23rd DISTRICT

Dave Reichert

WASHINGTON's 8th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

Peter Roskam

ILLINOIS' 6th DISTRICT

Paul Ryan

WISCONSIN's 1st DISTRICT

Aaron Schock

ILLINOIS' 18th DISTRICT

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

Todd Young

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT