Not only are students preparing to head back to school but the hot, humid weather has cooled off some so Missourians can get outside and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. For me, the last few days have been great as I have continued my travels around Missouri’s 3rd District. I have made several stops and talked with countless people about all sorts of various topics that are important to them.
Last week, I discussed in-depth the opioid abuse roundtables we held. I would like to highlight another roundtable I recently had on a topic that is getting more and more national attention each day: human trafficking. Human trafficking impacts every community in our country. In America, the National Human Trafficking hotline recorded more than 7,500 human trafficking cases in the United States in 2016. This is a 35.7 percent increase from 2015. The roundtable was held in Franklin County and individuals from the Jefferson County Health Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff, Dave Marshak, and members from Mercy Hospital in Jefferson County all participated in this important discussion about what we can do to combat this abuse. To date, the House of Representatives has passed 16 bills that will help victims, punish traffickers, prevent trafficking, and aid law enforcement.
After that roundtable, I headed to Festus High School to meet the young men and women who took first place at the International Paris Air Show. I cannot stress enough how much of a pleasure it was to talk with those students about their experience overseas and also to present them with a congratulatory statement that was printed in the Congressional Record discussing their accomplishments. These students have made made Missouri incredibly proud and I wish each of them the best of luck in their very bright futures.
On a similar note, I recently met and presented the Wentzville Civil Air Patrol with their own congratulatory statement that was also printed in the Congressional Record. The Civil Air Patrol is an all volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary and these young men and women support Missouri’s communities with emergency response, youth development, and promotion of air, space, and cyber power. These individuals are true community leaders and their commitment to the Civil Air Patrol deserves our appreciation and gratitude.
My visits, meetings, and roundtables around the 3rd District continue each day and I look forward to being in your community. Please make sure to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates and pictures about where I have been.
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), along with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairmen Tom Marino and Darrell Issa, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Federal Reserve Board of Governors Chair Janet Yellen, and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Keith Noreika regarding Operation Choke Point.
Operation Choke Point was an Obama Administration initiative led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that destroyed legitimate businesses to which that Administration was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses.
Luetkemeyer has worked to put an end to Operation Choke Point since 2014. In May, he reintroduced legislation that would end Operation Choke Point. Specifically, it would restore the balance between financial institutions and regulators and protect private industry from the organized bureaucratic intimidation that originated under the previous administration.Read More
The opioid epidemic is real and every community across the country is impacted by it. Nationally, 44 American lives are lost each day to prescription opioid abuse and many Missourians have friends, neighbors, or family members who have been impacted by this crisis.
This week, I traveled throughout the 3rd District and held roundtables with local officials, doctors, and individuals to discuss what more can be done to combat this epidemic. I started in Crystal City where I met with the Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak, the Jefferson County Health Department, doctors and staff from Mercy Hospital Jefferson, and surrounding organizations. In Jefferson County, 68 individuals died of opioid or drug related overdoses in 2016. My staff and I will continue to get updated on a regular basis from county officials in Jefferson County as we work together to bring that number down.
Next, I went to the Community Health Center of Central Missouri in Jefferson City for a discussion on opioid abuse and behavioral health. There are fewer health-care professionals of all kinds in rural areas but community health centers are a great option to seek treatment and advice for all ages and individuals. Thank you to everyone who participated in this discussion including the Director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Randall Williams, the Jefferson City Police Department, the Director of Missouri’s Department of Mental Health, Mark Stringer, the Cole County Health Department, and the President and CEO of Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Brooks Miller.
By bringing individuals throughout the health-care spectrum together, we are able to discuss what we can do in our communities to face this epidemic head on. I will be taking their notes and ideas back to Washington to share with my colleagues in the House.
Lastly, in the previous Congress, a very important bill was signed into law called the 21st Century Cures Act. This law streamlines the review of life-saving drugs and provides grants for states to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment. I was a proud supporter of this legislation in the House of Representatives, and I was pleased to see it become a law.
While Congress has taken steps to address the opioid epidemic, it is clear that more must be done. Please know I will continue to meet with doctors, nurses, treatment professionals, law enforcement officers, and families to hear their stories and discuss what more can be done here at home and in Washington.
This week, the House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure Appropriations Act. This package includes funding bills for four portions of our government – Defense, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs.
Providing for the common defense is the federal government’s number one responsibility, and I take this responsibility very seriously. The Defense appropriations bill includes a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops, the highest in eight years. It restores readiness shortfalls by investing in key acquisition programs and makes critical investments to ensure our troops have the equipment and training they need to succeed on the battlefield. The bill also fully funds the building of the F/A-18 Super Hornets which addresses our critical strike fighter shortfall and supports 13,000 jobs in Missouri.
The Energy and Water appropriations bill protects funding for critical national and regional waterways in America. With much of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the 3rd District and after heavy flooding from earlier this year, I was pleased to see funding for energy and water infrastructure investments and flood and storm damage reduction included in this bill. In addition, included is a provision that allows the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw from the burdensome Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is an important action for Missouri farmers and ranchers. Time and time again, I have said that WOTUS is an attack on individual property rights and an encroachment on the rights of states to regulate the waters within their borders. I am pleased to see this provision to reverse the EPA’s wrongdoings from the previous Administration.
The Legislative Branch appropriations bill includes increased funding for Capitol Police to update critical safety and enhanced security functions. One of the provisions I am most proud of is the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bill providing the highest funding level ever for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This funding will provide for the more than seven million VA patients who so bravely served our country and will help reduce the VA disability backlog.
Lastly, Americans have made it loud and clear that more must be done to prevent illegal immigration. President Trump committed to securing the border and reducing the presence of illegal immigrants in our country, specifically calling for the construction of a security wall on the southern border. I am pleased that this package includes funding for President Trump’s border wall request. Simply put, securing our southern border is about national security. We cannot allow unknown, potentially harmful individuals and illegal drugs to enter our country.
This legislation funds critical components of our government and includes a number of priorities that are important to Missourians, and Americans across the country. If you have any questions about this legislation or anything else that is happening in the House of Representatives, please do not hesitate to contact any of my offices.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the United States Senate failed to pass legislation that would repeal Obamacare:
“With premium increases in Missouri up 145 percent since 2013 and 97 counties with only one choice of insurer this year, it is clear Obamacare is failing. The House of Representatives took the first critical step in saving our country’s health-care system by passing a repeal months ago, but unfortunately the Senate has not been able to follow our lead. The Senate, including the Democrats who forced this horrible law on the American people, must come together to find a path forward. The House stands ready to work with the Senate on a solution that will put families and their doctors back in charge of their health-care.”Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act.
“Today’s legislation is in direct response to Iran, Russia, and North Korea’s continued attempts to undermine global stability with aggressive acts,” Luetkemeyer said. “We will hold these countries accountable by targeting any individual who contributes to or supports their ongoing destabilizing activities. In addition, the legislation helps bolster energy security in Europe and improves cooperation with our allies. I am pleased the House of Representatives came together to pass this important bill in bipartisan fashion and look forward to it being signed into law.”
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the resolution of disapproval relating to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule to prevent companies from using arbitration clauses:
“Today, the House of Representatives took the first step in rolling back the anti-consumer regulation that is set to prompt more lawsuits across the country,” Luetkemeyer said. “The CFPB’s arbitration rule is proof of what we’ve said for years: the Bureau does not operate in the best interest of American consumers. The CFPB’s own study shows that just 13 percent of class action lawsuits actually provided a benefit to consumers, with an average payout of just $32. Arbitration, on the other hand, provides an average settlement of more than $5,000 for aggrieved parties. At the end of the day, this rule will have devastating consequences for American consumers. I am pleased that my colleagues in the House of Representatives understand the consequences of this rule and voted today to reverse this action from the CFPB. It’s my hope that the Senate will soon follow suit.”Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) and Missouri’s First lady, Dr. Sheena Greitens, met to discuss issues related to foster and adoptive care at the state and federal levels.
“Dr. Greitens has been a champion of foster and adoptive care policy in the State of Missouri for years,” Luetkemeyer said. “I look forward to working together with her to better strengthen our foster care system and better increase outcomes for young adults transitioning out of the system.”
“Eric and I believe that Missouri’s foster children are all of our children, by law and in spirit,” said Dr. Sheena Greitens. “It was a pleasure to learn about Representative Luetkemeyer’s work as part of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, and to discuss how we at the state level can work with Congressional leaders to best protect and care for our most vulnerable children.”Read More
The Trump Administration has put a meaningful emphasis on manufacturing, job creation, and a strong economy. This has been a long-time priority of House Republicans and it is great to team up with the President to promote the companies located in each of our communities and highlight American-made products.
The Administration named July 17-21 as “Made in America” week, and a manufacturer from each of the 50 states was brought to the White House to highlight their products. Beehler Corporation, from Mountain Grove, represented the Great State of Missouri.Beehler engineers hinges and hardware for companies.
Back at home, I recently visited Danuser Machine Company in Fulton. Danuser manufacturers quality agriculture and industrial equipment right here in the 3rd District. Danuser has approximately 90 employees and is an original equipment manufacturer for over 800 companies, including John Deere. Danuser represents the true meaning of “Made in America” and I am proud to have this company here in the 3rd District.
In addition, my colleagues in the Missouri delegation and I have been working hard to to pass legislation in the House that would get the historic Delta Queen paddle wheeled riverboat back on the river next year to allow Missourians to travel up and down the Mississippi. This riverboat, which will be docked in Jefferson County, will create more than 170 jobs and generate more than $36.4 million if it is allowed to host tourists for excursions. The House has passed this legislation in a previous Congress and my Missouri colleagues and I are working hard to ensure this important bill comes to the House floor soon.
In the House of Representatives, we are working hand-in-hand with the Administration to remove the regulatory burdens that are preventing U.S. companies from growing. In order to do so, we must enact a pro-growth tax code. Right now, at 35 percent, our nation’s corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world. This rate makes it harder for American workers and businesses to compete in the global economy. In 1960, 17 of the 20 largest global companies were headquartered in the United States. Today, that number has dropped to only six. House Republicans are committed to tax reform and we have a plan to lower the corporate tax rate to a more globally-competitive level of 20 percent.
Lastly, I am a proud member of the House Manufacturing Caucus. The caucus was created to promote policies that help American manufacturers find skilled workers, continue to lead the world in developing new industrial technologies, and operate on a level playing field with their foreign competitors.
Please know I will continue to support common-sense legislation that put hard-working individuals, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers back in charge as they are the ones who create jobs and spur innovation.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement on the seventh anniversary of the enactment of Dodd-Frank:
“For seven years, the American people have dealt with a stagnant financial economy, evaporating access to financial products, and less opportunity for financial independence,” Luetkemeyer said. “The culprit is Dodd-Frank and the punitive regulatory regime it left in its wake. What was billed as the solution to our economic woes has done little more than create more red tape from Washington. The people and institutions that had no role in the financial crisis bear the brunt of this stifling, Washington-knows-best regulatory regime. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives acted by passing the Financial CHOICE Act, which creates a more meaningful and effective financial regulatory structure that will restore consumers’ faith in their financial system. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to work towards passage so this important legislation can get to the President’s desk for his signature.”
Luetkemeyer is the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.Read More
2440 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
As the Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Blaine is committed to representing the interests of the hard-working people by being a strong voice for them in Washington, D.C.
Blaine, 61, represents the 13 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri. Blaine, a native of St. Elizabeth, Mo., has lived in the district with his family for four generations and he operates a 160-acre farm there.
Along with his strong agriculture background, he was also a small businessman, having been in the banking and insurance business. Blaine has also served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri earlier in his career. He was elected in November, 2008, succeeding fellow Republican Kenny Hulshof.
From 1999 to 2005, Blaine was a Missouri State Representative and served as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee and was elected by his colleagues to serve as the House Republican Caucus Chairman. After leaving office, Blaine was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to serve as the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.
Building on his experience as a bank examiner, small businessman and community banker, Blaine serves as vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee where he also serves on the House Small Business Subcommittees on Health and Technology and Agriculture, Energy and Trade. Blaine also serves on the House Financial Services Committee where he also serves on the panel’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Committee and is vice chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee.
Blaine is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Eldon Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and a lifelong member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Blaine is a graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., where he earned a degree with distinction in political science and a minor in business administration.
Blaine and his wife, Jackie, have three children, Trevor, Brandy and Nikki, and four grandchildren.
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On August 10, 1821, #Missouri joined the union. Happy birthday to the great Show-Me State!
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It was a great tour and conversation. Thank you very much for having me! https://t.co/KWBAsiRxXm
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Thank you to the Wentzville Rotary Club for having me speak to you this week about important topics I am working on… https://t.co/grakp3Ty64