Following months of committee hearings and discussions on the development of international insurance standards, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) introduced the Transparent Insurance Standards Act which would increase transparency and strengthen Congress’s role in supervising foreign standards setting organizations.
Luetkemeyer, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, introduced H.R. 5143, which would establish a framework before U.S. representatives to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) are permitted to consent to the adoption of any international insurance standard. The legislation would require the Federal Reserve and the Department of Treasury to publish a proposed standard in the Federal Register and allow for public comment.
“I’ve worked with my colleagues to develop legislation that helps to ensure the United States will not only maintain its involvement in international conversations, but will sit at the head of the table. This legislation maintains that international discussions should first and foremost represent the state-based regulatory system and protect American policyholders. The United States has a robust domestic insurance marketplace that puts policyholders first and it is critical that we maintain it.”
H.R. 5143 would reinforce that any international insurance standard agreed to at the IAIS would not be self-executing and could not be applied in the United States until it is implemented through the required domestic process and provides Congress the opportunity to reject a bad agreement. It would require the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to work to ensure policyholder protection, increased transparency, and recognition of the state-based model of insurance regulation.Read More
Life brings many twists, turns, ups and downs to all of us. Many of us have experienced a mother, sister, daughter, or friend who has been diagnosed with, suffered from, and bravely fought against breast cancer. With Mother’s Day approaching, I was again reminded about the importance of women’s health, access to health-care, and the critical need to prevent and cure breast cancer.
Breast cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women with one woman diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. In Missouri alone, an estimated 5,030 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2016.
Those are troubling figures and I firmly believe access to health-care comes into the picture of women in rural areas not going to get mammograms regularly. A mammogram remains the gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer. One mammogram can detect breast cancer before the tumor has grown large enough to be felt or before other symptoms have occurred. When detected in the earliest stages, the cure rate for breast cancer is 97 percent.
In order to open up more access to early detection, I have introduced the Mobile Mammography Promotion Act which would increase access to breast cancer screening by providing relief from the federal fuel excise tax for mammovans. Mammovans are vehicles designed exclusively to provide mobile mammography services that travel to underserved areas across the country. Such relief already exists in the tax code for blood collection vehicles and my bill would simply add vehicles that provide mammography services to the list. It is my sincere hope this bill will move to the House floor so we can continue to provide a needed service to women in rural areas of our country.
In addition, with Mother’s Day approaching, I wanted to take time and recognize all of the moms across the 3rd District. Moms have the innate ability to nurture, love, and to make everything seem alright.
I know that my wife would simply say she believes the greatest reward is seeing her three children grow up and become successful, loving, and respectful adults. While that is true, each of us should take time to call or visit our mother and acknowledge her on this special day.
None of us know what tomorrow will bring or what unexpected turn may lie ahead, but with access to resources and with the help of family and friends, it makes each of our journeys a little bit easier.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a resolution in disapproval of the fiduciary rule submitted by the Department of Labor on April 6, 2016:
“The Department of Labor’s misguided fiduciary rule is a solution in search of a problem. It will cut off access to professional financial advice and planning for millions of our fellow citizens and it will hit those with modest assets and low to moderate incomes particularly hard. I am pleased the House of Representatives quickly brought today’s disapproval resolution to the floor as it takes the first step in stopping this dangerous rule. It is my hope the Senate will follow the House’s lead and pass this resolution without delay. As government programs lurch toward insolvency, Americans need and deserve access to professional retirement planning services now more than ever.”Read More
After 39 entries of artwork were submitted by high school students across the 3rd District, Molly Schulte of Jefferson City, has been named the winner of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.
Molly, a sophomore at Helias Catholic High School used acrylic paint to create the winning artwork titled “Western Still Life.” Molly will have her work displayed along with other winners from congressional districts around the country in the Cannon Tunnel at the U.S. Capitol. In addition, Molly will receive free airfare to attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this summer.
“The Congressional Art Competition is a great program that provides the opportunity for high school students all around the country to be creative and to have the chance to have their own artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol. I look forward to welcoming Molly to Washington in just a couple of months. I want to thank all of the participants for another successful year of this competition.”
The first runner-up was Haley Koch, a senior from Windsor High School with the artwork entitled “Dreaming of Oz.” Kayla Holt, a senior from St. Charles High School, was the second runner-up with the piece “Memories of Old and New.” The third runner-up was Abigail Oster, a junior from Fort Zumwalt East High School with the artwork “Rabbit Run Park.” All runners-up will be displayed in Luetkemeyer’s congressional offices.
The winning entries, along with three runners-up, were selected by Owensville High School art teacher, Sherri White.Read More
Whether I am traveling around the 3rd District or meeting with constituents in Washington, one common-theme I hear is that you are rightfully concerned about the nation’s spending. I agree with you: our nation’s spending is unacceptably high. That’s why this week, I’d like to dive a little bit deeper into the true drivers of government spending and how we can get our country back on a path to fiscal sanity.
There are two sides of the federal budget: discretionary and mandatory. Discretionary spending must be approved every year and funds things like transportation and the military. While more progress must be made, House Republicans have actually made progress on this side of the ledger. Since taking control of the House in 2011, Republicans have cut discretionary spending by more than $185 billion leading to the first three-year stretch of declining federal outlays since President Dwight Eisenhower’s first term. By forcing long-term spending caps, House Republicans have helped reduce the annual budget deficit by two-thirds since 2011. While our current debt level is unacceptable, we can all agree that we are moving in the right direction by cutting spending, not adding to it.
Within these overall cuts to discretionary spending have been a number of conservative victories; for example, we cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget by $452 million below the president’s request, holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and its lowest staffing levels since 1989. I have also supported legislation that reins in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by freezing most operations and imposing significant budget cuts necessary to ensure this agency eliminates waste and abuse and shifts its focus to serving American taxpayers.
So what is driving the debt? The key drivers of the debt are the mandatory programs, which are on auto-pilot. Social Security and Medicare are the two biggest mandatory programs, followed by Medicaid. This type of auto-pilot spending has grown from one-third of all spending 50 years ago to two-thirds today and is on pace to consume an ever larger share of the budget. If we don’t change the trajectory of mandatory spending, by 2034, all federal revenues will be consumed by Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Social Security, and interest on the debt, leaving no funding for core Constitutional responsibilities such as national defense. Both Social Security and Medicare are lifelines for many individuals across our nation and for these programs to remain sustainable, solvent, and available for current and future beneficiaries – they must be put on a different path.
One solution that is sorely needed is the addition of a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution. Individuals, families, businesses, and states must balance their budgets, and so should the federal government. That’s why I have cosponsored a balanced budget amendment each year since coming to Congress. This would permanently change the way Congress views spending and would help prevent future generations from going through the same crisis our country currently faces.
One more piece of the puzzle is the need to continue to challenge the Obama Administration on its out of control rules and regulations that are strangling economic growth. One bill I recently cosponsored is the End Executive Overreach Act, which would defund any new executive orders and suspend agencies’ rulemaking authority. If passed, this bill would eliminate all funding for any executive orders or regulations issued from the time of enactment of the bill until the end of the Obama administration. We need to focus on growing the economy through less regulations and lowering taxes. That will help balance the budget and begin to pay down the debt and our nation can move forward.
If you ever have any questions regarding the budget, please do not hesitate to give me or my staff a call; we are ready and willing to help and serve you.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a collection of bills that would rein in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and hold the agency accountable to Americans:
“Even though tax day has come and gone, it is still the priority of the House to make the IRS more accountable to the American people. This week, the House passed four pieces of legislation that would improve customer service, prevent fraud, and ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately. I am proud to support today’s bills as they take the steps in the right direction to rein in the IRS. Even though tax day is over, we must continue to focus our attention on improving the IRS for all Americans.”
H.R. 4885 would repeal a provision of current law that allows the IRS to divert user fees from taxpayer services to Obamacare enforcement. The bill requires that all IRS user fees collected be deposited into the general fund of the Department of the Treasury and be subject to Congressional appropriations.
H.R. 1206 would suspend the hiring of new IRS employees unless the Treasury Secretary certifies that no IRS employees have serious tax delinquencies with respect to their own tax obligations.
H.R. 4890 would prohibit the IRS from paying bonuses to any employee until it creates and submits to Congress a comprehensive strategy to improve customer service.
H.R. 3274 would prohibit the IRS from rehiring any former employee of the agency that was fired for cause.Read More
It’s been a busy few weeks in Missouri and Washington. After celebrating Easter with my family in St. Elizabeth, I hit the road to meet with folks on the ground to listen to their concerns and bring some Missouri commonsense back to Washington.
One highlight of the past couple of weeks was meeting the phenomenal team at Pro Food Systems in Holts Summit. Pro Food Systems distributes chicken and a number of other products, primarily to quick stops, to over 35 states. Think about that: the food distributed from a 65,000 square foot facility in Holts Summit reaches 70 percent of America. That’s a testament to the hardworking and entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Missouri. The Holt Summit facility is state of the art, but its success is directly a result of the people who work there; the team at Pro Food Systems was really impressive and stood out to me. Another highlight was addressing the Jefferson City Rotary Club. We had a great discussion, and, again I was really impressed with and inspired by the people that took part in that meeting.
In those meetings and a few others, a number of topics were discussed. One common theme I took away from our discussions was the continued failure of the IRS to get its act together.
That’s why when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified in front of the Small Business Committee this week, I pressed him about the agency’s continued mismanagement, why the Jefferson City IRS Taxpayer Assistance office was closed in the midst of tax season, and how a different tax system, such as flat tax might work better for the American people. Commissioner Koskinen’s responses were not adequate and I am more determined than ever to hold the IRS accountable for its performance.
Another issue my colleagues in the House of Representatives and I are working on is reining in President Obama and, particularly, restoring the Constitutional balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government. Just a couple of weeks ago, the House passed legislation to challenge the president in a Supreme Court case on his executive actions on immigration. I’m pleased to announce that the Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments in this case, United States v. Texas, on April 18 and the Court has granted time for the House to make oral arguments. The House will argue that the president has once again ignored Article I of the Constitution. Be sure I will keep you updated with all the news and information.
The brightest highlight of my week was visiting with Jefferson City resident, Elijah Mayfield. This young man was honored with one of the highest awards, the “Self-Advocate of the Year” award, from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDDS). I had the pleasure of introducing Elijah at the NDDS award ceremony and I got to share with hundreds of individuals stories about his work in the Governor’s office in Missouri, his work at a local hospital, and about his love for the St. Louis Cardinals. Elijah is a remarkable individual and having the opportunity to spend time with him and his family is something that I will always remember. It is an honor to represent Elijah, and all of the constituents of central and eastern Missouri, in the United States Congress.Read More
In light of this week being “Tax Week” the House Small Business Committee and Vice Chairman U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) held a hearing to discuss tax reform, among other issues, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen.
“Today the House Small Business Committee had the opportunity to question IRS Commissioner Koskinen about a variety of topics, including tax reform and the agency’s continued mismanagement. Earlier this year, I received news the Jefferson City IRS Taxpayer Assistance office had been closed in the midst of tax season. When I pressed Commissioner Koskinen for answers as to why this would happen and why employees were not trained months ago in preparation of tax season, he admitted the agency failed to provide the aid that Mid-Missouri taxpayers need. After hearing Commissioner Koskinen answer questions from the Committee, it is clear that IRS leadership has failed to effectively manage the agency to provide support and resources to taxpayers across the country that they need on a timely basis.”Read More
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) legislation that would end Operation Choke Point. Today, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate with the same goal: to end the practice of allowing government bureaucrats from using personal and political motivations to block financial services to licensed, legally-operating businesses.
“I am pleased that my colleagues, Senators Cruz and Lee, recognized the importance of the bipartisan Financial Institution Customer Protection Act and filed legislation that is identical to what the House of Representatives passed earlier this year,” Luetkemeyer said. “Today’s action confirms that Americans, all across the country, are speaking up after having been affected by Operation Choke Point. The Senators recognize the need for greater transparency in the Department of Justice and federal banking agencies. Operation Choke Point runs contrary to who we are as Americans, and I want to thank Senators Cruz and Lee for joining me in this effort. I look forward to working with them to encourage the Senate to bring this bill to the floor in the very near future.”
“Under President Obama’s rein, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House,” Senator Cruz said. “The Obama administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don’t align with the President’s political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising their constitutional rights. I am proud to stand with Senator Lee and Rep. Luetkemeyer to stop this insidious manipulation by the administration and look forward to sending this legislation to the President’s desk.”
H.R. 766 passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 250-169 on February 4, 2016.Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) was honored to meet with Elijah Mayfield of Jefferson City and present him with the 2016 National Down Syndrome “Self-Advocate of the Year” award.
“Elijah is an incredible young man and it was a true honor to present him with the “Self-Advocate of the Year” award for his advocacy efforts on behalf of people with Down Syndrome and their families,” Luetkemeyer said. “Not only does Elijah volunteer at a local hospital and intern in the Governor’s office, but he knows his St. Louis Cardinals baseball as well as anyone I have ever met. He is a true inspiration and being able to present Elijah with this distinguished award is something I will always remember.”
In addition, Luetkemeyer received the 2016 National Down Syndrome Society “Congressional Champion of Change” award. This award is presented to Members of Congress who have been effective in advancing policies that create positive change for individuals with Down Syndrome.
The focus of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome.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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It was great walking the halls of my high school alma mater, St. Elizabeth High School. Thank… https://t.co/NTTwxlezjE
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The #fiduciaryrule would harm financial advice and planning for all Americans. Today, I supported a resolution to block this rule.
It was a pleasure going back to my high school alma mater, St. Elizabeth High School, to talk with the Future Business Leaders of America students.
Life brings many twists, turns, ups and downs to all of us. Many of us have experienced a mother, sister, daughter, or friend who has been diagnosed
The Department of Labor’s misguided fiduciary rule is a solution in search of a problem. It will cut off access to professional financial advice
The last time our nation's email privacy laws were updated was 1986. Google wouldn't be around for another 12 years and the first text message
After 39 entries of artwork were submitted by high school students across the 3rd District, Molly Schulte of Jefferson City, has been named the