Blaine Luetkemeyer

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Blaine's Bulletin: Giving Thanks

2014/11/21

“But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving,’ Charlie Brown.” – Marcie

That famous quote from the movie ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ is a light hearted way to remind young and old about the importance of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not only a day to celebrate with loved ones but also a reminder for all of our good fortunes.

As the story goes, in 1621, the first Thanksgiving was shared among the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Tribe. The colonists had to endure the voyage which left many sick and facing starvation. Then, after persevering through a harsh winter and with the help of the Native Americans, the two groups came together and celebrated a feast. The colonists and the Wampanoags were able to put aside their hardships and differences and enjoy the day together.

During this time of year, I like to share the story of the very first Thanksgiving, and the act of kindness, with my grandchildren so they know the history and meaning behind this holiday – and remind them to whom we are giving thanks.

While our great nation has faced much adversity of its own, I am always humbled when I hear and read stories about strangers lending a helping hand to someone less fortunate. Whether it might be donating canned goods to a local shelter or spending a Saturday morning volunteering, there are many ways to give back. This spirit of Thanksgiving and sharing has always been part of the American character.

So, whether it’s gathering your family and loved ones around the television to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ or if you have a family tradition of going outside to toss the pigskin, or making creative dishes from the leftover turkey and stuffing – remember all of the blessings you have to be grateful this holiday season.

On behalf of myself, my family, and my staff, I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Luetkemeyer Introduces Legislation to Protect Customers from Operation Choke Point

2014/11/20

Continuing his commitment to end Operation Choke Point, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) introduced legislation that would require federal banking agencies to put in writing any suggestion or order to terminate a customer’s banking account.

This legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, dictates that agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve cannot request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has material reason. In addition, Luetkemeyer’s legislation requires the federal banking agencies to issue a rule defining the term “reputation risk” and strikes the word “affecting” in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), replacing it with “by” or “against.” This change is to ensure that the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) broad interpretations of the law are limited and the original intent of the statue is restored.

“This legislation is straightforward by stating that federal banking agencies must put in writing any suggestion to terminate a customer’s banking account and by requiring agencies to define terms by which they regularly use in the examination process, and by returning the powers vested in FIRREA to their original purpose,” Luetkemeyer said. “After receiving letters from the FDIC and DOJ just last week, stating the agencies own internal investigatory departments will investigate Operation Choke Point activities within their agencies, I am even more positive that with the introduction of this legislation, Congress will be able to work in a bipartisan fashion to quickly put an end to this program.”

Operation Choke Point is an operation in which the FDIC and DOJ intimidate financial institutions from offering financial services to certain licensed, legally-operating industries the government doesn’t like in an attempt to choke off those industries from our country’s banking system. These include the non-depository lending industry, ammunition and firearms sales, fireworks sales, coin dealers, debt collectors, tobacco sales, and pharmaceutical sales.

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Luetkemeyer Urges EPA Administrator to Extend Timeline for Warm Air Furnace Compliance

2014/11/20

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the agency to follow past precedence and ensure that small businesses are not unfairly harmed by allowing a one year compliance timeline for warm air furnaces under the upcoming regulations.

Warm air furnaces are forced-air, wood-fired furnaces generally used by homeowners and are available for sale at home improvement stores. The EPA’s proposed standards would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any non-certified warm air furnace within 60 days of the final regulation’s publication in the Federal Register. In effect, that means manufacturers of a product that has never before been regulated will have to stop production, master a new testing process, and retool operations in just 60 days. In addition, because the rule prohibits the sale of non-certified models, manufacturers will have to repurchase the stock that home improvement stores already have purchased.

According to the letter Luetkemeyer sent, prior to this proposal the EPA has never required emissions controls on warm air furnaces, and manufacturers will not be required to modify and submit their models to costly tests prior to certification.

“The EPA’s benchmark of 60 days is not feasible for manufacturers to properly comply with their regulations for warm air furnaces,” Luetkemeyer said. “The EPA should consider this bipartisan and bicameral solution and extend the timeline to at least one year so manufacturers can properly ensure they meet the financial and logistical challenges to certification that is now requested.”

Earlier this year, Luetkemeyer introduced the Wood Stove Regulatory Relief Act, which would prevent the EPA from instituting costly proposed new standards for wood burning stoves and heating systems that would effectively prohibit the manufacture and sale of 85 percent of wood burning heaters currently on the market. Nearly 90 percent of wood stove manufacturers are small businesses that employ hardworking Americans, including many in Missouri’s 3rd District.

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Luetkemeyer Statement on President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

2014/11/20

“Today’s action by the president to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of undocumented illegal immigrants in the United States is not only unconstitutional but also a complete overreach by this administration. The president has completely circumvented Congress with this executive action. Just last year, the president was quoted saying, “I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” He should follow his own words and realize that immigration reform is much too complex and too important to not properly go through the legislative process. Rather than issuing these lawless executive actions, the president should complete the border fence that Congress previously passed into law, increase enforcement against tax and welfare fraud by illegal immigrants, and actually follow through with existing law instead of a “catch-and-release” approach. House Republicans have been holding discussions regarding how to address this issue and I am confident that action will be taken soon.” Read More

Luetkemeyer Named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance

2014/11/20

The following is a statement from U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) after being named Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance:

“The faith that has been placed in me leaves me humbled and honored. I look forward to being the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance in the 114th Congress and working with my colleagues to tackle the important issues happening across our nation. In addition, I want to thank Chairman Hensarling for this opportunity and for his dedicated service to the Financial Services Committee.”

“Rep. Luetkemeyer is a great choice to chair the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee,” Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said. “With the combination of his background and his knowledge of housing and insurance issues, I am confident he will lead the subcommittee in the right direction in the 114th Congress.”

Luetkemeyer has served on the House Financial Services Committee since the 112th Congress. In the 113th Congress, he served as Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.

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Blaine's Bulletin: Raising Awareness of the Issues in Our Foster Care and Adoption Systems

2014/11/14

The word ‘family’ holds a special meaning in my heart and the ties that bind our families together provide a nurturing environment for our children to grow and succeed.

With November designated as National Adoption Month and November 22 deemed National Adoption Day, I wanted to raise awareness about adoptions and foster youth across the nation.

In the United States, there are 397,122 children living without permanent families in the foster care system and around the world there are an estimated 17,900,000 orphans. Additionally, according to the U.S. State Department, United States families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012. Americans adopted the highest amount of children from China then followed by Ethiopia, Ukraine, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I’m a lifelong believer in the right to life and I believe our society should support organizations that provide alternative options to women who cannot provide for a child or may not be ready to be a mother. These same organizations also support abandoned children who want and need the opportunity to be in a safe and loving family.

The House of Representatives has been very active in raising awareness and supporting our nation’s foster youth and adoption. I’m proud to be a member of two congressional organizations – the Foster Youth Caucus and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. The Foster Youth Caucus works to protect and promote the welfare of all children in foster care and those who have “aged out” of the system. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children in need of permanent, safe and loving homes, and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic need of a family.

I have also cosponsored H.Res. 409, which expresses support for the goals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month by promoting national awareness of adoption and the children awaiting families and celebrating children and families that are involved in adoption. This resolution also encourages Americans to secure safety, permanency, and the well-being for all children.

And most recently I signed a letter to the leaders of the Senate and National Assembly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) urging legislative action on adoption reform which has been halted in the DRC since September 2013. This letter is similar to another letter I signed on to earlier this year to support legislation and government effort to follow up on the well-being of Congolese children adopted by U.S. citizens and to work together to ensure that intercountry adoptions between our countries continue.

I am hopeful these efforts will raise awareness of the issues surrounding our foster care and adoption systems. We should all focus more time and energy to ensure the continued advancement of these systems in order to protect our nation’s children and promote the idea that every child has a right to life.

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FDIC and DOJ Commit to Luetkemeyer and Members An Investigation into Operation Choke Point

2014/11/14

After sending letters to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) last month, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) received correspondence that both agencies will launch investigations into Operation Choke Point.

The letters, sent in late October by Luetkemeyer and signed by over 30 members of Congress, were directed to FDIC Acting Inspector General Fred Gibson, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and Robin Ashton, head of DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

“The correspondence I received from the FDIC and DOJ is a great first step in ensuring that those responsible for Operation Choke Point are held accountable and that Congress and the American people receive details and answers they deserve,” Luetkemeyer said. “The FDIC has committed to conducting a review of the agency’s activities related to Operation Choke Point to ensure that the actions taken were consistent with laws and regulations and they will investigate charges that a senior FDIC official provided false testimony to Congress. The DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility has opened an inquiry and will gather and review material applicable to Operation Choke Point. In the meantime, I will continue to push for more transparency and information as to how this unprecedented program was implemented.”

Operation Choke Point is an operation in which the FDIC and DOJ intimidate financial institutions from offering financial services to certain licensed, legally-operating industries the government doesn’t like in an attempt to choke off those industries from our country’s banking system. These include the non-depository lending industry, ammunition and firearms sales, fireworks sales, tobacco sales, coin dealers, debt collectors, pawnbrokers and pharmaceutical sales.

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Luetkemeyer Statement on House Passage of Keystone XL Pipeline

2014/11/14

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after bipartisan passage to start construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:

“After 2,247 days since backers of the Keystone XL pipeline first submitted an application to the U.S. State Department to build this project, the House sent yet another strong signal to President Obama to stop stalling and approve this measure. Construction of the Keystone pipeline would bring much needed jobs to Americans and the reduction of our dependence on foreign oil would jump-start our economy. It is my hope the Senate will act quickly to pass this legislation and the President will follow suit and not wait another day before signing into law.”

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Blaine's Bulletin: Recognizing Our Nation's Veterans

2014/11/07

This Veterans Day, it is important to give recognition to the brave men and women who served this country with great honor and distinction. Not only do our veterans deserve our respect and gratitude, but we also need to recognize the sacrifices made in defense of America to protect the liberties we enjoy each and every day.

This year, Congress made some positive steps forward in improving care for our nation’s veterans. Earlier this year, the House and the Senate came to a bipartisan agreement, and the president signed into law, legislation that would repair and improve our Veterans Affairs (VA) system.

This law made several reforms, including provisions which would allow veterans to receive care at non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and a requirement that the VA provide a Veterans Choice Card for eligible veterans to receive care provided by non-VA providers. Eligible veterans are those who are enrolled in the VA health system as of August 1, 2014, newly discharged veterans who are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days, or veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility.

This law is a great first step in improving our nation’s care to our veterans. However, I know there are still many questions lingering about this law or veterans benefits, in general. That is why, on November 25, I am holding my fifth Veterans Benefits Workshop. This workshop is organized to provide assistance to 3rd district constituents who have served our nation. My staff and I will lead a discussion and assist veterans from 10 a.m. to noon at 100 North Main St. in O’Fallon, Mo.

Whether a veteran has a question about benefits, the new VA law, or is looking for job opportunities, this workshop provides the necessary information needed to receive the service they deserve from the VA. This workshop is designed to provide free advice and guidance for those who need assistance filing veterans claims applications, completing necessary documents, as well as understanding how the VA processes claims.

As a member of Congress, the least I can do is ensure the veterans in the 3rd Congressional District are receiving the benefits and assistance you deserve and I will continue oversight over the VA to prevent history from repeating itself.

Without our nation’s veterans, we would not have the rights and privileges that we take for granted as Americans.  Our veterans are the reason that our nation stands as a shining example for other freedom-loving nations around world.

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Blaine's Bulletin: Remembering the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

2014/10/31

November 9, 1989.

Twenty-five years ago this month the Berlin Wall fell, signaling the end of Soviet communist domination in Eastern Europe.

The division of Europe by the Cold War that so defined the second half of the Twentieth Century, holds a special significance for Missouri, because of the speech that Sir Winston Churchill delivered at Westminster College in Fulton on March 5, 1946. At the time, our own native son Harry Truman was President of the United States and Churchill was serving as Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, in between terms as Prime Minister. To seal the deal, President Truman included a handwritten note at the bottom of the school’s invitation to Churchill and committed to delivering the introduction for Churchill if he agreed to speak.

So, on March 5, 1946, the former and future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom traveled to Fulton, Missouri to deliver what is formally titled the “Sinews of Peace” address, to an audience that included the President of the United States. Churchill, who had long been concerned about Soviet expansion in post-war Europe, used the opportunity to famously declare “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” Churchill’s speech, which forever intertwined Westminster and Fulton with the history of the Cold War, warned of the danger of impending communist expansion and argued for the west to take a tough stance in response to Soviet aggression. Truman had arrived at similar conclusions as Churchill, and, in March 1947, outlined the Truman Doctrine, which sought to contain communism in Europe and from overtaking Greece and Turkey, before a joint session of Congress. 

One year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, President Ronald Reagan came to Westminster to dedicate a sculpture made from eight sections of it by Edwina Sandys, a sculptor who happens to be the granddaughter of Winston Churchill. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev came in 1992 and used the opportunity to declare the end of the Cold War.

With all of this history right in our backyard, I thought it was imperative for our country to officially recognize the significance of Westminster and Fulton.  That’s why, in 2009, I introduced and passed legislation to designate Westminster as the home of America’s National Churchill Museum

Though the Cold War thankfully never became hot, the combination of military and economic pressure and tough diplomacy from America brought down the iron curtain that had divided Europe and helped usher in a new era of freedom and liberty across the globe.

While the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, the purpose of Churchill’s words still resonates today, that America must not grow complacent and must maintain our moral leadership in the world. Whether 1946, 1989, or 2014, America’s vigilance in spreading freedom, liberty, and prosperity represents one of our most important duties.

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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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