BALLWIN, MO – Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:
“Once again, President Obama has doubled down on his opposition to common sense energy solutions. After a remarkable seven years of studying the issue, this Administration has made it painfully clear that the energy independence and thousands of new jobs promised by the Keystone XL pipeline are not enough to outweigh special interest groups in Washington. We cannot continue to let out-of-touch bureaucrats and so-called progressives stifle our energy future with elaborate arguments about environmental concerns that are not rooted in reality. The American people deserve better from the White House, and I will continue to fight for real energy solutions that will lower costs for Missouri families.”
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Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement on the election of Rep. Paul D. Ryan to Speaker of the House:
“It is no secret that the U.S. House of Representatives has been wrought with dysfunction for much of my time in Congress. Our successes, though numerous, have been overshadowed by inside-the-beltway turmoil. Today, we begin a new era in this institution under the leadership of Speaker Paul D. Ryan. I am confident that Speaker Ryan’s time as the head of this legislative body will include a renewed focus on the people’s priorities and will begin to heal the deep division that has plagued us. I look forward to continuing the fight to rein in government spending, give a voice to the voiceless and fight for the people of Missouri’s Second Congressional District.”
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Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States:
“Today, I voted to protect St. Louis area jobs and help businesses across Missouri by bringing back the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Over the past eight years, the Export-Import Bank has assisted 125 Missouri businesses receive the financing they need to expand production and support 9,400 Missouri jobs. Congress should be working to encourage private sector job growth that will lead to higher wages and economic growth for Missouri families. Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank accomplishes that goal and for this reason, it earned my support.”
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Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 1090, the Retail Investor Protection Act, which will block the Department of Labor from issuing a 1,000 page rule on retirement savings that will prevent countless Americans from accessing financial advice:
“The U.S. House of Representatives stood up for low- and middle-income investors today by passing the Retail Investor Protection Act, which I sponsored. The Obama Administration and the Department of Labor believe that the American people need to be protected from themselves, that they are not smart or capable enough to control their own retirement savings.
“My constituents are tired of Washington bureaucrats telling them what food their families should eat, where they should turn for health care and, now, how they should save for retirement. I for one refuse to stand by and let this Administration advance another regulation that ultimately takes away our freedoms. The burdensome 1,000 page rule offered by the Department of Labor would do just that, increasing costs for Missouri families and reducing access to sound financial advice. I was proud to lead in this bipartisan fight to protect investors and I am hopeful that the U.S. Senate will join us in our efforts to block this onerous rule.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Financial Services Committee today voted and passed Congresswoman Ann Wagner’s signature legislation protecting low- and middle-income savers, the Retail Investor Protection Act, or RIPA. With a vote of 34-25, the bill will now be scheduled for a vote on the House floor, where it is expected to pass.
"I'm grateful for my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee who joined me today in protecting the millions of low- and middle-income Americans from the Administration's latest power grab. Preserving access to sound investment advice for hardworking families is something I believe in and will continue to fight for, and I look forward to seeing this bipartisan bill on the House floor soon," Rep. Wagner said. "To the pen-pals and panderers who supported this legislation in the past but are now siding with President Obama and Elizabeth Warren, shame on you! Putting politics ahead of the best interests of millions of Americans is wrong and, frankly, it's offensive to tell the American people you don't trust them with their hard-earned savings."
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Earlier today, the Financial Services Committee held a markup for RIPA, in which Rep. Wagner spoke on her legislation. Here is a link for a video of her statement today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTwEuezMYrw&feature=youtu.beRead More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) today attended the historic joint meeting of Congress welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis. Below is a statement in reaction to his speech before Congress.
“Today is a great and inspirational day. The message that Pope Francis delivered was a message of hope and optimism not just for Catholics, but for all people,” Rep. Wagner said. “He lifted us up, and he challenged us to do better in Congress, in America and in the world, to live the Gospel and follow the teachings of Jesus. He challenged us above all to love one another, take care of one another, protect the most vulnerable among us, to defend the unborn and to support the institution of family. I am hopeful that in the days, weeks and months ahead, Congress will be able to confront these important issues with the same humble sincerity in which His Holiness Pope Francis spoke to us today.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) issued the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration awarding over $1 million in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood.
“I find it deplorable that President Obama and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have awarded Planned Parenthood of Missouri, Iowa and Montana with over $1 million in Obamacare grants,” Rep. Wagner said.
“While the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to investigate Planned Parenthood’s unconscionable activities, CMS is instead planning to deepen our investment in America’s largest abortion provider. Recently released videos have documented Planned Parenthood’s shocking sale of unborn children’s organs, yet President Obama has elected to turn his back on the American people and the unborn.
“I am committed to ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood and I am simply appalled that CMS would award this grant in light of the recent revelations.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) issued the following statement today in response to findings by the Missouri Attorney General’s office.
“The new information released today by the Missouri Attorney General's office regarding the Westlake and Bridgeton landfill sites is deeply troubling. My No. 1 concern is the health and safety of area residents. I once again call on the EPA to consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and implement remedial actions that will protect the community. It is time for the Department of Energy, in consultation with the Army Corps of Engineers, to make a determination whether the inclusion of the West Lake site into FUSRAP will better protect area residents. The time for discussion and evaluation has passed; this community deserves a solution.”
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Ballwin, Missouri – U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner released the following statement on the Obama Administration's newest carbon restrictions:
"Today's final rule shows that the EPA is not considering the impact that such a regulation will have on jobs and ratepayers, especially for a state like Missouri, which generates over 80 percent of its electricity from coal. Make no mistake; this ruling will affect middle income Missourians who are already struggling to make ends meet. That is why I introduced the EPA Regulatory Domestic Benefit Act to require the EPA to more closely scrutinize costs and benefits for the American people. President Obama's war on affordable energy is a reckless attack on America's middle class."
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives today issued a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez suggesting the department re-propose their recent fiduciary rule proposal to protect Americans who are saving for retirement. Below is a copy of that letter. Its initial signatories include Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), David Scott (D-Ga.), and William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.). Additional Members who signed on include Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Robert Hurt (R-Va.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Mia Love (R-Utah), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), and Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.).
July 29, 2015
The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Secretary Perez,
We write to you regarding the Department of Labor’s (DOL) April 14, 2015 proposed rule (RIN 1210-AB32) that would greatly expand the regulatory definition of a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As the Department is well aware, this proposal consists of extensive changes to an already complex and highly regulated framework regarding the investment advice market for retirement savings. Such a rule will significantly change how millions of Americans seek help to make their investment decisions and the relationships that they have with their financial advisor. For these reasons, we believe that the DOL should adequately review and consider all relevant comments received in order to ensure that unintended disruptive changes do not impact the delivery of financial advice to investors in the retirement savings market by issuing a re-proposal of this rule.
The Department of Labor previously issued a “fiduciary” proposal in 2010, which drew significant investor as well as bipartisan Congressional concern. By the Department’s own admission, this rule is significantly different than the 2010 version. In addition, throughout the new proposed rule the DOL asks numerous Questions and issues Requests for Comments on significant provisions of the regulation. As of July 21, 2015, the public comment period has closed and the Department of Labor, as well as Congressional offices, have received extensive and significant feedback and comment on the rule, showing a strong interest in this rule by a wide range of stakeholders and the impact it could have on the retirement savings advice market.
Given the concerns from stakeholders and a bipartisan group in Congress on this issue, there is a strong possibility that a final rule may widely differ in its substance from the initial proposal or contain provisions that were not part of the proposed regulation. As a result, we feel it is in the interest of our constituents that the DOL re-propose this fiduciary regulation to ensure adequate stakeholder involvement in the notice and comment period during a new formal rulemaking process.
We agree that financial advisors should act in the best interest of their clients. Heightened consumer protections in the investment space should apply broadly and should not create two classes of investors, especially at the expense of those saving for retirement. The current proposal would bi-furcate the industry into those who can afford an advisor and those who cannot. The result will be less choice for consumers and a lack of access for retail investors to sound financial advice.
Additionally, the rule should not impose further burdens on middle class Americans and unnecessarily disrupt existing relationships that they have developed with their financial advisors. It is important that Americans saving for retirement have access to quality information and advice, and Federal regulation should not hinder those striving to save for retirement.
Recent events in the United Kingdom, where low dollar investors have lost access to advice from financial advisors, present a case study of what can happen if this rule is not implemented correctly. We are concerned that the rule in its current form could have a disparate impact on access, choice, and costs for millions of low- and middle-income Americans saving for their retirement. It is critical that the Department continue to work together with appropriate agencies and stakeholders on a balanced approach to both protect investors and maintain affordable access to retirement savings products.
We ask you to re-propose this rule to ensure that it achieves its stated goal of protecting Americans saving for retirement.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.)
Congressman Andy Barr (R-Ky.)
Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.)
Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.)
Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Va.)
Congressman Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.)
Congressman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)
Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)
Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)
Congressman Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)
Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine)
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.)
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)
Congresswoman Mia Love (R-Utah)
Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.)
Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.)
Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Colo.)
Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)
435 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Ann Wagner’s career is both deep and broad in service to her hometown, state and nation with over 25 years of work in the private sector, community and public service, and the political arena.
The 2nd District means family for Ann. It is where she and her husband of twenty-five years, Ray, grew up, went to school, raised their children, work, volunteer and go to church. This community has given her extraordinary opportunities to make a difference.
At an early age, Ann started working in the family business, a retail carpet store called Carpetime in Manchester. Working beside her parents she learned the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, and that government ought not be in the way and on the backs of hard-working Americans trying to make a living.
Ann then took her firsthand experience to the University of Missouri-Columbia and received her BSBA from the Business School with an emphasis in Logistics. After college, Ann went to work in the private sector and held management positions at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and Ralston Purina in St. Louis.
Ann’s most important jobs, however, have always been as a wife and mother. Ann and Ray have three children: Raymond, a recent West Point graduate stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne; Stephen, a Client Services Manager for a St. Louis area financial management company; and Mary Ruth, a freshmen at Miami University in Ohio.
Ann Wagner’s public service began at the grassroots level. She served for nine years as a local committeewoman in Lafayette Township and went on to Chair the Missouri Republican Party delivering historic Republican gains. She also served as Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the first term of President George W. Bush.
In 2005, following nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Ann was sworn in as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She served as U.S. Ambassador for four years before returning to her home in Ballwin, Missouri.
In 2010, Ann was asked to serve as the Chairman of Roy Blunt’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in Missouri. Bringing her high energy and political skills to the campaign, Ann helped unite existing and new conservative grassroots activists to produce a landslide victory.
Ann announced her first run for public office on April 26, 2011 and has attended hundreds of events including forums, debates, picnics, meetings and rallies. Her signature grassroots “Table Tops” have been a listening and learning tour in homes all across the district. Her strong connection to her community has helped Ann recruit hundreds of volunteers from every corner of the 2nd Congressional District.
Ann won her 2012 Congressional race with over 60% of the vote and received more votes than any other Republican candidate for Congress in the State of Missouri this cycle.
Ann will serve on the House Financial Services Committee – a key committee for the 2nd District and St. Louis region. St. Louis and its suburbs are national and regional centers for financial services activity. Over 84,000 people in St. Louis and its suburbs are employed in the financial services industry with a total payroll of around $4.57 billion.
The St. Louis area is also home to national investment firms including Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial and Wells Fargo Advisors, to name a few, making it one of the largest clusters of brokerage firms and personnel outside of New York.
Ann was also selected by the Freshman Class of the 113th Congress to be their representative on the Elected Leadership Committee.
Tomorrow is Scouting for Food day. Don't forget to leave canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Boy Scouts of America! @stlbsa