Think about this: every dollar paid in taxes and every dollar borrowed in Washington is a dollar that can’t be used by everyday Americans to buy a car, pay the rent, send a child to school, or expand a business.
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in and the federal government is spending far too many of the dollars that should be in your pockets. As I travel throughout eastern and central Missouri, the number one issue I hear about is reining in our nation’s out of control spending and debt. That’s because you know that getting our debt under control will create real, meaningful gains for our economy which will benefit each and every American.
Each year, the House of Representatives is tasked with producing a budget to set forth a framework for the upcoming fiscal year, and this week, I was proud to support the budget that passed the House of Representatives for Fiscal Year 2016. And, unlike the White House, House Republicans take our nation’s finances very seriously. For example, the House plan balances the budget in less than 10 years without raising taxes, while the president’s budget never balances.
Balancing the budget is not a newfound thought. Families and businesses in Missouri, and across the nation, wisely prioritize spending to make ends meet. Our country should do the same.
Not only does the House budget balance, but it repeals the president’s health-care law, boosts defense spending to make sure our nation is secure and our war fighters have the tools they need to be successful, eliminates “double dipping” of Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance and establishes a plan to strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund, and saves and strengthens Medicare for current and future retirees by ending the $700 billion Obamacare raid on Medicare.
The House of Representatives stepped up again by advancing a bold plan of action that will help life our nation’s crushing burden of debt and spur job creation and economic opportunity. This budget places the country on a path to pay off the debt by growing the economy and making government more efficient, effective, and accountable.
We must get back to a culture that promotes saving and smart investment. Hard-working families and small business owners across the country live by these tenets – why should the federal government be exempt from this?Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) and Missouri colleagues today sent a letter to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General (AG) Chris Koster calling on them to join the lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states against the president for his unconstitutional executive actions on immigration.
U.S. Reps. Ann Wagner, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Jason Smith, and Sam Graves joined Luetkemeyer in sending a letter to Governor Nixon and AG Koster.
“As elected officials, we share responsibility to uphold the Constitution and a duty to represent law-abiding Missouri citizens,” Luetkemeyer said. “It is of the upmost importance that Governor Nixon and AG Koster join the 26 other states in condemning the president’s actions that were never authorized by law and will cause immense damage to our great state.”
In December, President Obama issued executive actions which would unilaterally rewrite our nation’s immigration laws. The letter goes on to state that “allowing those who came to this country illegally to jump the line is an insult to all of the immigrants in Missouri who have followed the law in seeking legal status or permanent residency. Moreover, the work authorization provided to undocumented immigrants could place a downward force on wages and reduce the provision of available jobs in a state that already has an unacceptably high unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.”Read More
A pastel painting on sandpaper titled “My Self” featuring a young girl’s portrait contrasted against a dark yellow background created by Abigail Preckel of Wentzville has been chosen as the winner from the 3rd District in the Congressional Art Competition.
The winning entries, along with three runners-up, were selected by Washington, Missouri artist, Gary Lucy. Lucy is known for his paintings of nature and his commissioned piece done for the 175th anniversary of Washington, Missouri.
“Seeing students’ artwork from around the country in the halls of the Capitol is very special to me,” U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) said. “Mr. Lucy’s choice was very difficult this year because of the number of exceptional entries. I am looking forward to displaying Abigail’s painting in the Capitol and featuring the runners-up paintings in my district offices. Each of these young artists told a story through art and I am honored to have these hanging in my offices. In addition, I want to thank each and every student who submitted artwork for the competition. We had an overwhelming amount of entries and it is very impressive to see the talent in the 3rd District.”
Abigail, a junior at Timberland High School, will have her work displayed along with other winners from congressional districts around the country in the Cannon Tunnel at the U.S. Capitol. Abigail, whose art teacher is
Crystal Wing, will have the opportunity to attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this summer where all winning artwork from across the nation will be displayed.
The first runner-up was Lainey Winge, from Jefferson City High School with her work “Steam Punk Ribs.” Emily Schmitz, from Fatima High School, was the second-runner up with the piece “Painted-on Beauty.” The third runner-up was Iberia High School student Bennett Zink with the piece titled “Neotropical.”
More than 40 works were submitted from across the 3rd Congressional District.Read More
Fairness and transparency. Those are the words that best describe two pieces of legislation my colleagues and I debated and passed in the House of Representatives this week.
We all know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intrusive and inefficient with its regulations that it is constantly issuing. And the regulations that are being forced down on our country, and particularly the small business and agricultural sectors, are having a negative impact on our economy each and every day.
Not only are these regulations onerous, but they are crafted behind closed doors, and often are based upon questionable findings that are not published for the public to review. The science behind the regulations coming out of this agency is a critical component to understand and if we can fix those underlying problems, then we will have taken one step in the right direction.
This week, the House voted on the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which would bring fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA’s expert panel, which is supposed to provide technical expertise and assistance to EPA officials. In recent years, there have been shortcomings with the current process, including: limited public participation, EPA interference with expert advice, and potential conflicts of interest. This legislation ensures the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is open to all Americans and requires members on the board to disclose their professional backgrounds.
In addition, the House voted on the Secret Science Reform Act, which would give independent scientists a fair chance to validate the studies EPA uses to make new regulations.
You may recall in recent bulletins that I have written I discuss defunding the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC). Beyond my outrage with the president pledging to give $3 billion in taxpayer funds to the UN Green Climate Fund, the president and his administration use secret science to advance their climate agenda.
For example, the IPCC received a great deal of criticism over the last few years, particularly when emails publicly released from a university in England showed that leading global scientists intentionally manipulated climate data and suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals. That is totally unacceptable. As a governmental agency that affects millions of Americans with its regulations – fairness and transparency are two critical components.
There is a great reason why a recent poll from the Institute of Energy Research found that 90 percent of Americans agree that studies and data used to make federal government decisions should be made public. I will continue to work to ensure your government is providing fairness and transparency every single day so you can see what is going on.Read More
All Americans are granted freedoms and rights that are guaranteed to us by the Constitution, including the Second Amendment. And when those guaranteed rights get trampled on by the administration, I will not back down.
In February, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a proposal to ban “green tip” ammunition which is the most commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle design in American – the AR-15. The ATF has long considered ”green tip” ammo to be allowable under the sporting purposes test, but, recently, the ATF announced that it would ban it, because repeating handguns that fire it are commercially available.
When this proposal was announced to the public, it was met with tremendous outpouring of opposition – including from hundreds of constituents in the 3rd District. Allowing the ATF to move forward with banning this specific ammo could open up other previously allowed types of ammunition to the same ban, which could hurt individuals and small businesses across the country, and undermine our Constitutional rights.
In the House, 237 colleagues of mine joined me in signing a letter to the head of the ATF opposing this action. We also sought clarification and expressed outrage about the fact that the ATF did not follow federal law – the Administrative Procedures Act to be precise – and publish its proposed framework in the Federal Register, and we also demanded to know what other ammo the ATF is considering to ban under the new framework.
With all the pressure from Second Amendment supporters inside and outside Congress, the ATF recently decided to withdraw its ban – however, that does not mean this fight has is completely over.
Living in rural St. Elizabeth, Missouri, I learned from an early age to respect firearms and handle them responsibly. With freedom comes great responsibility. That’s why I will continue to stand up for our right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.Read More
“This is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing. Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
That quote was just one of several that had me and my colleagues on our feet in a thunderous applause when Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a Joint Session of Congress recently.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the speech but it was not meant to be political nor partisan. The intent was simply to unite Congress and the administration around the issue of Israeli security – something that was never an issue before the last few weeks.
The timing of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is particularly relevant given the deadline for a political agreement in the Iran nuclear negotiations which is only a few weeks away. The Prime Minister spoke openly and honestly about the importance of toughening sanctions on Iran, and the possibility for grave consequences if America stands idly by and allows the radical regime in Tehran to move forward with its nuclear ambitions.
I support a diplomatic approach in negotiations with Iran; however, I believe we must be more vigilant in ensuring that the Iranian government takes legitimate steps toward nuclear disarmament. In addition, I do not believe that sanctions against Iran should be lifted until the Iranian government provides an overwhelming amount of evidence confirming nuclear disarmament.
Recently, I signed a letter sent to President Obama regarding the unresolved issues in the Iranian negotiations. In short, this letter calls for any comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran to ensure that country’s nuclear infrastructure will be such that Iran has no pathway to a nuclear bomb before any permanent sanctions relief is given. In addition, it outlines the many ways in which Tehran has refused to divulge the information of their nuclear program thus far.
Sitting in the House of Representatives, listening to Prime Minister Netanyahu address Congress, I couldn’t help but contrast it to our own foreign policy in the United States, which, I believe, would benefit from the strength, clarity, resolve, and sense of purpose that Prime Minister Netanyahu projected in his speech – a leader that will lead. I will continue to stay engaged with the Iran nuclear negotiations and I will always, proudly, stand with Israel.Read More
This week, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) reintroduced the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act, which would more closely base the regulation of financial institutions on risk rather than arbitrary asset size.
“This legislation supports economic growth in the country because not only does it allow our community and regional banks to lend without certain burdens of lending, but it more closely bases the regulation of financial institutions on risk rather than arbitrary asset size,” Luetkemeyer said. “After decades of being in the community banking and insurance businesses, I know firsthand the importance of creating standards that account for risk and the varying structures of small, mid-size, and large financial institutions. Decisions on what institutions are deemed systemically important should be based not on size alone, but also on activity and other factors that actually demonstrate systemic risk.”
The legislation would enhance the criteria used to make Systemically Important Financial Institution, or SIFI, designations to ensure that those with the SIFI designation, and therefore subject to stricter regulatory standards, are those institutions that are not only large in size, but also globally interconnected and complex.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Senate-amended Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act:
“Six weeks ago, I supported legislation that would fully fund the Department of Homeland Security while ensuring that funding for the president’s executive amnesty program was prohibited. After weeks of obstruction by Senate Democrats, first to debating the House bill, and then to convening a conference committee with the House to work out differences with the Senate, the House today voted on the Senate’s DHS funding bill. I opposed this bill, because it did not prohibit funding for the president’s unconstitutional executive actions. The fight to uphold our Constitution now moves to the courts. A federal judge in Texas has already issued an injunction to stop the president’s unconstitutional executive actions, and it is my hope that the courts will permanently end this program before it can be implemented.”
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after attending the Joint Session of Congress where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the House and the Senate:
“It was a true honor to have Prime Minister Netanyahu address the United States Congress and I believe the timing of this speech is appropriate with the deadline for a political agreement in the Iran nuclear negotiations only a few weeks away. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke honestly and openly about the importance of toughening sanctions on Iran, and the possibility for grave consequences if we stand idly and allow the radical regime in Tehran to move forward with its nuclear ambitions. I believe that now, more than ever, the United States needs to stand with Israel to show our support and make clear we will aide in protecting the security of our nation’s closest ally in the Middle East.”Read More
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has pushed full steam ahead with a plan to take control of the Internet.
The FCC did this in the name of “net neutrality,” the concept that would require all legal content found on the Internet to be treated equally. That means that streaming video services can’t pay more to secure more bandwidth and faster speeds for their customers, and it also means that Internet service providers can’t slow down the service of customers using lots of bandwidth to watch movies or play video games in favor of customers who check their email and browse the Internet. This is an idea worth serious thought and debate, but what the FCC did goes far beyond equal treatment of content.
In 2011, the FCC issued an Open Internet Order which prohibited broadband service providers from blocking any legal content on their networks, and prohibited fixed broadband providers from prioritizing, through pricing or the awarding of bandwidth, among legal content providers.
Then, just a little over a year ago, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated parts of the Open Internet Order. Basically, the court struck down the rules prohibiting blocking and discrimination, but allowed the rules requiring disclosures of Internet traffic management policies to stand.
In efforts to side step the Court of Appeals, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a 332-page measure to undermine the court’s decision and reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service. Even more troubling, the FCC will not offer full disclosure of the documents until after the commission votes on it – which took place on Feb. 26, 2015. What we do know is that this measure would turn Internet service providers into public utilities, rather than information services. By extension, that means the government would be able to regulate and tax the Internet like it does water, electricity, or television services.
I have several concerns about the direction that the FCC has taken. First, I am very concerned with Chairman Wheeler’s refusal to release the documents to the public and the overall lack of transparency involved in the agency’s rule-making. Even more alarming, the possibility of restrictions on an open Internet have the potential to hit 60 million rural Americans the hardest, including those living in the 3rd District of Missouri. It will also stifle innovation and could lead to high taxes on a service essential for economic activity.
The recent vote of the FCC is not the end of this fight; rather, it is only the beginning. The FCC’s unprecedented action will likely spark years of lawsuits and cause years of uncertainty for many Americans who depend on reliable Internet service each and every day. In the coming weeks, I’ll be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a solution that protects an open Internet, its users, and encourages innovation and investment.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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Summaries of the 11 bipartisan bills we passed today to help preserve consumer choice & financial independence http://t.co/wmcXG3FfGg
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Retweet to agree: Budgets should balance. Plain and simple. http://t.co/qILaWTkYUX
Yesterday, I was honored to present Missouri Farm Bureau members with a copy of extension of remarks from the Congressional Record congratulating
Think about this: every dollar paid in taxes and every dollar borrowed in Washington is a dollar that can’t be used by everyday Americans to
Today, I sent a letter to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster calling on them to join the lawsuit brought by Texas
Yesterday, I went on CNBC's Closing Bell to discuss Operation Choke Point and my continuing efforts to ensure this program comes to an end.
Thanks Missouri Cattlemen's Association for stopping by and talking about important issues - it's always great to see cowboy hats on Capitol