Blaine Luetkemeyer

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Luetkemeyer Votes to Give House Authority to File Lawsuit Against President

2014/07/30

Concerned about the growth of executive power, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) today voted for House Resolution 676 that provides the Speaker of the House with the authority to initiate litigation for actions by the president or other executive branch officials alleged to be inconsistent with their Constitutional duties. 

"As Americans, we must never forget that Congress makes the laws and the president executes them, but unfortunately, that separation of powers created by our Founding Fathers has been slowly eroded as the executive branch continues to be more and more brazen in its own perceived authority,” Luetkemeyer said. “The separation of powers must be distinct and enforced because at the end of the day this is not about this Congress and this president. This is about all future Congresses and future presidents, as well.”

The resolution sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas is now ready to be sent to a federal judge for a decision on whether or not the House has legal standing to pursue the case. If a judge rules that the House does, in fact, have the standing to pursue the lawsuit, it would move to a federal court.

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Luetkemeyer Backs Improving Transparency Surrounding Endangered Species Efforts

2014/07/29

Concerned about the lack of government transparency regarding the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) today voted in support of legislation he co-sponsored that is designed to reform the ESA to improve how the government implements and administers the law.

The legislation, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act, would implement a number of good-government reforms including requiring the publication of the data used to make ESA listing decisions on the internet; requiring that federal agencies work with and listen to states, tribes and local governments when formulating a listing decision; and requiring the tracking and publication of ESA-related litigation expenses, including taxpayer-funded attorneys’ fees.  The legislation would also cap attorney fees for litigation filed under ESA at $125 an hour. 

“Any person with common-sense can tell you that the government’s current approach to species management and preservation is not working and yet it has been 25 years since Congress reauthorized or made any significant improvements to the ESA so after hearing from a wide-range of folks from across the country, I fully supported this effort to reform the law and bring it up-to-date,” Luetkemeyer said. “While the ESA was created with the best intentions, it has failed to live up to its promise and this bill is a good first step towards making the changes necessary to help both the animals and the people the ESA was designed to serve.”

Luetkemeyer is a member of the Endangered Species Act Working Group which was formed to examine the law’s impact on species and people over the last 40 years and to find potential improvements going forward. The working group’s membership includes Members of Congress from each region of the United States and Luetkemeyer is the only member of the Missouri delegation in the group. After a series of hearings and a thorough review of the current law, members of the working group came together to help draft parts of the legislation passed today.

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Blaine's Bulletin: Growing Up Under President Obama

2014/07/25

I’m sure you recognize the many difficulties of being a parent and understand how expensive it is to care for our young ones. Unfortunately for parents, things have only gotten worse thanks to the misguided economic policies of this administration.  

Under the president’s economic plan, the cost of living continues to rise while take-home pay is stagnant and far too many Americans are either out of work or working part time. From 2004 to 2012, annual costs for clothing, food, child care, and education for a child rose by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, the child tax credit remains at $1,000.

When you look at how our economy is languishing and its impact on hard-working families, you can then calculate the true damage being done to folks who are doing their best to raise a family. The Department of Agriculture in its annual report on child expenditures came up with the following astounding statistics which are based on the average annual cost of raising a child from newborn to two years of age.

The yearly cost to clothe a child for a year in 2004 was $350 while in 2012 that cost jumped to $660, an 89 percent increase. In 2004, the yearly cost to feed a child was $980 but in 2012 those costs increased to $1,190 for a 21 percent increase. But there is more - in 2004, the average per year cost of childcare was $1,020 and in 2012 those costs increased by 107 percent to $2,120.

When you look at those numbers and then consider the child tax credit still stands at 2004 levels, you realize that parents are really getting squeezed. That is why I supported passage of the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act which will update the child tax credit and index it to inflation to make sure families can keep more of their hard-earned money to raise the next generation.

It is my hope that this bipartisan bill, which is critical to America’s parents, will receive similar support in the Senate. The Senate continues to not act on the more than 321 House bills we’ve passed in the last year and a half that are designed to improve our economy and help our citizens. However, I am hopeful the Senate will at least act on this bill.

As a father and grandfather, I remember all too well the sacrifices that parents have to make each day to try and make ends meet while providing for their children. Each day I hear from another Missouri family trying to find ways to overcome an economic deck that has been stacked against them by the government.

Every dollar that a mother or father has in his or her pocketbook is another opportunity to provide for his or her family and I believe that by supporting an increase in the federal child tax credit we can ensure that more of our very young children will have a chance to succeed in a very tough economic world.

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter

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Blaine's Bulletin: Importance of Farming

2014/07/18

There are no greater stewards of the land and animals than farmers. There is also no doubt that our farmers and ranchers are responsible for serving America as the breadbasket of the world. As a former small farmer who raised hogs and cattle to help pay my way through college and still enjoys working on my 160-acre farm, it is amazing that government today is intent on attacking what is considered a noble calling.

Each day, whether at home or in Washington, I have heard story after story from farm families from across the 13 counties that make up the 3rd District who feel under attack from regulators and bureaucrats who want to tell folks how to do their life’s work. These are the same bureaucrats and regulators, both federal and state, who wouldn’t know the difference between a heifer and a bull, even if you drew them a picture.

There is no doubt that agriculture is vital to thousands of hard-working folks in the 3rd District and Missourians as a whole. About 16 percent of Missouri jobs are tied to agriculture and this is something I keep in my mind during my days in Congress and also did during my time as a state lawmaker. And clearly, today’s state lawmakers on both side of the political aisle understand that agriculture is still very much part of our state’s lifeblood.

Many of us in Congress have seen the challenges and pressures facing agriculture and certainly see, hear and learn about them when traveling outside of Washington, D.C. There also is a general sense that attempts are underway in parts of the country to restrict agriculture. Whether it was the farm child labor rule or the new definitions of bodies of water under the Clean Water Act to attempts to restrict the burning of wood by the Environmental Protection Agency, the government clearly is intent on stacking the deck against farmers and ranchers on behalf of liberal interests. These interests represent the same folks that claim farmers and ranchers don’t care for the environment or their animals, a claim that is counter intuitive to what these salt of the earth folks are trying to accomplish in the first place.

I, and many of my colleagues in Congress, have been doing our best to interject common sense and look out for the interests of farmers, ranchers and consumers and it all starts with our farm families here at home and across the nation. In Missouri, it is a thrill to see so many Show Me State farmers, ranchers and non-farm folks standing together working to ensure that farming remains a vital and integral part of our economy. Agriculture is an under the radar industry and we must do all we can to let our voices be heard at every opportunity to protect it. 

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter

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Luetkemeyer Supports Budget Bill Cutting IRS Funding, Restricting Agency’s Authority

2014/07/16

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) today voted in favor of an approprations bill that makes significant cuts in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), provides no funding for the IRS to implement the president’s health-care law and implements a series of restrictions on IRS activities in response to the agency’s targeting of conservative groups and other questionable activities.

Luetkemeyer, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, voted with the majority in favor of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 cuts IRS funding $1.48 billion below last year and nearly $3 billion below the request.  In total, the bill brings IRS funding below 2003 funding levels. The bill passed by the House provides $21.3 billion in discretionary funding $566 million or 3 percent less than the current level and $2.3 billion or 10 percent less than the president’s request. 

“It is abundantly clear to the American people that the power of the IRS has spiraled out of control under this administration and the best way to get this situation under control is to hit the agency where it hurts _-in its pocketbook,” Luetkemeyer said. “Federal agencies like the IRS must be held accountable and I believe the provisions contained in this legislation are the first step to doing just that.” 

Along with reducing the overall IRS budget and halting funding for the president’s health-care law, the bill also prohibits the IRS from implementing the law's individual mandate and the White House from preparing or implementing presidential executive orders that contravene existing law. 

The bill also prohibits the IRS from awarding any bonuses to its employees unless tax compliance and conduct are given consideration; prohibits any funding from being used by the IRS to create inappropriate videos and hold frivolous conferences; requires the IRS to institute and enforce policies that safeguard the confidentiality of taxpayer information and protect taxpayers from identity theft and requires the IRS to establish an employee training program that covers issues such as taxpayers’ rights, ethics, and applying tax law impartially.

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Luetkemeyer Calls Government Attempts to Shut Down Legal Businesses Indefensible, Irresponsible Regulation

2014/07/15

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3), a former bank examiner, today called Executive Branch attempts to shut down entire portions of the private sector based on what it deems to be morally unacceptable under the auspices of Operation Choke Point “an indefensible and irresponsible approach to regulation.”

Following is Luetkemeyer’s opening statement delivered during today’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in which witnesses from Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency testified on Operation Choke Point:

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to participate today.

Operation Choke Point takes a new approach to banking supervision: if you don’t like a given industry, bend your authorities and force that industry out of the financial services space, making it impossible to survive.

How does it work? The DOJ staff the conceived of Operation Choke Point summed it up in a November 5, 2012, memo to Stuart Delery: ‘Banks are sensitive to the risk of civil/criminal liability and regulatory action.’ In other words, the DOJ can intimidate banks into doing what it wants by threatening them with subpoenas and colluding with their regulators.

Since last August I’ve met with some of our regulators and even one of the witnesses on today’s panel. In each of those meetings, the regulators agreed that casting a wide net and targeting legal industries is inappropriate. But, despite that sentiment, Operation Choke Point continues.

I’m troubled that requests I’ve made for cooperation over the past year have fallen on deaf ears. But through my End Operation Choke Point Act, financial institutions will be granted the safe harbor necessary to serve legally-operating customers. Equally important: the legislation will ensure that DOJ will not be able to act unilaterally in broadly attacking legal industries.

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the discussion on what I find to be an indefensible and irresponsible approach to regulation."

Luetkemeyer has led the national charge against Operation Choke Point since learning the FDIC loaned examiners to the DOJ in a hostile attempt to take down non-depository lenders despite the fact that they are legally-operating, licensed businesses.  Luetkemeyer’s legislation also intends to ensure that financial institutions have the security and ability to return to the business of offering products and services to a variety of industries including ammunition sales, fireworks sales and pharmaceutical sales. Luetkemeyer also successfully passed an amendment in the House that would cut off funding for Operation Choke Point for a year.

 

 

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Luetkemeyer to Question Federal Officials at July 15 Hearing About Government Attempts to Shut Down Legal Businesses

2014/07/14

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) will question federal officials tomorrow about Operation Choke Point, Executive Branch attempts to shut down entire portions of the private sector based on what it deems to be morally unacceptable.

Luetkemeyer, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, will participate in the 9 a.m. CST (10 a.m. EST) hearing of the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on July 15 in Washington. The Congressman has led the national charge against Operation Choke Point since learning the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) loaned examiners to the Justice Department (DOJ) in a hostile attempt to take down non-depository lenders despite the fact that they are legally-operating, licensed businesses.  

Late last month, Luetkemeyer filed legislation to ensure that existing laws are interpreted as intended, and that overzealous and inappropriate use of regulatory and enforcement tools are curbed. The legislation also intends to ensure that financial institutions have the security and ability to return to the business of offering products and services to a variety of industries including ammunition sales, fireworks sales and pharmaceutical sales. Luetkemeyer also successfully passed an amendment in the House that would cut off funding for Operation Choke Point for a year.

Scheduled witnesses at tomorrow’s hearing are: Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice; Scott G. Alvarez, General Counsel, Federal Reserve Board; Richard J. Osterman, Acting General Counsel, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and Daniel P. Stipano, Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“The notion that legal businesses not viewed favorably by this administration should be choked-off from the financial services they need to survive strikes at the very core of our free market system, and these officials will have a lot of explaining to do to the American people,” Luetkemeyer said. “It is time for this type of government blackmail and intimidation to end.”

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Blaine's Bulletin-The Search for Jobs

2014/07/11

Last week I had the opportunity to go around the 3rd Congressional District and talk to many of you about what’s on your mind and the number one question I’ve been getting from folks is “Where are the jobs?” And the response I have is quite simple: House Republicans have passed over 40 different bills that seek to get government out of the way of the free market and create conditions for economic growth and job creation. All that we need now is for the Senate and president to join us.

Instead of joining us, however, the administration and its allies have been crowing about a lower unemployment rate. But there is more to it than that. Under this administration, the economy shrank by 2.9 percent and there are, in fact, more than 5 million Americans who have given up looking for a job because of lack of opportunities. If the labor force was back to pre-recession levels, including the workers that have stopped looking, the unemployment rate would actually be 11.1 percent, not 6.2 percent.

Looking back on the president’s State of the Union address at the beginning of the year where he heavily focused on creating jobs for Americans – it seems that he hasn’t listened to his own words nor kept any of his promises. June marked the 49th time in the last 50 months more people gave up looking for work than found jobs while 30 percent of job seekers had to settle for part-time work. Even more disturbing is that 40 percent of our unemployed are millennials which means there are 4.6 million folks age 18 to 29 out of work.

With that said, there was a bright spot last week when the House and Senate came to an agreement on the bipartisan, bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This bill will help develop a workforce system that is focused on getting folks the skills necessary for the jobs that are available right now. Americans need an updated and streamlined system to take advantage of the resources that are available and to ensure the workers are skilled for 21st century jobs. A recent survey of businesses indicated that 33 percent of them couldn’t find enough workers with the skills needed for the jobs available.

This incredibly important legislation is headed to the president’s desk where it is my hope he will immediately sign this into law so we can start to make serious headway into the nation’s unemployment numbers. It’s long past time to get this broken record of no growth and fewer jobs repaired. House Republicans have been on the forefront of passing dozens of pieces of legislation that have long been ignored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama.

The bottom line is that too many Americans are not seeing change or hope under President Obama’s economy. Too many are still struggling and too many are giving up. There are a lot of numbers that need fixing and Americans won’t be distracted by the pretty picture trying to be painted by this administration. It’s time to act and I will continue to do just that.

CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter.

 

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Luetkemeyer’s Cost Saving River Amendments Pass Unaminously in House

2014/07/10

In an effort to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used on duplicative and unnecessary studies of the Missouri River, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) led efforts to overwhelmingly pass two amendments prohibiting funding of the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP) and the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS).

“MRERP and MRAPS are studies that put taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars at a time of growing deficits and out-of-control spending. The last thing we need to be doing is nickle and diming folks with unnecessary government spending like this,” Luetkemeyer said. “I am pleased that an overwhelming number of my House colleagues joined me in ending funding for these projects and hopefully this trend of cutting wasteful government spending continues.”

Luetkemeyer’s amendments passed as part of the Energy and Water Appropriatons Act Fiscal Year 2015 and received no House opposition. Similar measures backed by Luetkemeyer to successfully halt funding for MRERP and MRAPS were previously passed in the House for FY2012-2014.

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Luetkemeyer Statement on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s Visit to Parts of Missouri

2014/07/09

Following is a statement from U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) on a visit today and Thursday by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to cities in Missouri to discuss proposed changes to the Clean Water Act:

“Despite this administration’s desperate and seemingly never ending attempts to fool the American people with snappy public relations tours, the fact of the matter is that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed clean water rule would have a devastating impact on American businesses and family farms. This visit is more about a liberal political agenda tied to radical environmentalism than protecting our environment in a responsible way. As a lifelong family farmer and small businessman, it is clear that Washington bureaucrats know very little about what rules are best for the nation’s water resources. Nearly every farmer and small business person I meet with tells me how much uncertainty is being caused by onerous EPA regulations and that is why I will continue to support legislation that roll-back EPA’s attempts to further burden hard-working Americans.”

 

NOTE: This week the House will vote on the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill which would prohibit funding for the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. 

 

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Contact Information

2440 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2956
Fax 202-225-5712
luetkemeyer.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Small Business

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.


Serving With

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

Sam Graves

MISSOURI's 6th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

Jason Smith

MISSOURI's 8th DISTRICT

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