As Americans, we are blessed with the freedom and liberty that comes with living in the greatest nation in history. However, we must remember that these freedoms come at a great cost. On Monday, we will honor the brave men and women whose love of country led them to answer the call to defend our nation. Memorial Day is a time to remember our fallen heroes – those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
During the week before Memorial Day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. This vital legislation authorizes military funding and makes critical improvements to our military infrastructure and readiness.
First and foremost, the NDAA fully funds a 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest pay raise in nine years. It also provides funding to increase the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. The legislation provides additional funding to support increased training, which is critical to keeping our military safe. Looking to the future of warfare, the NDAA also provides funds to combat cyber threats.
While the NDAA supports troops across the nation, it provides crucial certainties to Missouri. It authorizes a multi-year procurement for the F-18, built by Boeing in Missouri. The manufacturing of this aircraft provides an estimated 13,000 jobs in Missouri and supports 91 supplier companies in Missouri. Additionally, it has a yearly economic impact of $640 million in Missouri.
The first duty of the federal government is to protect our nation, and that duty cannot be fulfilled without our men and women in the military. I was proud to vote for this important bill in support our troops, because without their service and bravery America would not be the country it is today.
I hope you have a safe Memorial Day weekend with your loved ones, and remember that due to the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, we are the strongest nation on Earth and the envy of the free world.
Today, Jelena McWilliams was confirmed as the next Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) by a Senate vote of 69-24 today. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, issued the following statement:
“As a former bank examiner and community banker, I understand the difficult role regulators are tasked with. Banking regulators play an essential role in promoting financial stability and ensuring consumer protections and fair access to financial products. With a strong banking background and real-world experience, Jelena is a smart choice who will serve responsibly. She will restore much-needed balance to the FDIC, and I look forward to working alongside her to ensure we have reasonable and responsible financial regulations.”
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. This legislation is the most significant pro-growth banking deregulation bill in decades. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, released the following statement:
“In the wake of the financial crisis, the American people needed regulatory reform that would lift the economy. Instead, Congress responded with a framework that increased the cost of financial products, restricted access to loans, and redistributed credit from middle-income borrowers to high-income borrowers. More than half the provisions in S. 2155 originated in the House, and I am proud to have authored many of them. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is the product of years of work to provide relief to community financial institutions and American borrowers.”
“We must continue to right-size regulation so that it is based on business model and risk,” said Chairman Luetkemeyer. “With S. 2155 headed to the President’s desk and a commitment from the Senate to consider additional House legislation, I would call this a win - a win for community financial institutions, a win for small businesses, and a win for the American economy.”
Last year, 129 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty. 129 sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. They put their lives on the line to protect their communities, and we will forever be grateful for their heroism.
President John F. Kennedy designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the corresponding week as National Police Week - an opportunity for all of us to honor our fallen officers. This week, we remember the 129 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last year, and the 54 officers who have lost their lives since the beginning of this year.
Missouri has lost two of our own this year. Deputy Casey Shoemate worked for the Miller County Sheriff’s office when he was killed in a tragic car accident on his way to a 911 call. Deputy Shoemate leaves behind his two children and his beloved girlfriend, Kristina. Officer Christopher Ryan Morton was a Missouri Army National Guard veteran who had served with the Clinton Police Department for three years. Tragically, Officer Morton lost his life after he was dispatched to the wrong house for a 911 call, and ambushed by the man who lived there. With heavy hearts, we remember the courage of these two young men and keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.
Stories like these are all too common, and while we remember all those who lost their lives, something must be done. This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect and Serve Act, authored by my colleague from Florida, Congressman John Rutherford. In 2016, 21 police officers were killed in ambush style attacks in the line of duty – that is simply unacceptable. The Protect and Serve Act ensures that those who knowingly cause or attempt to cause significant bodily injury to any law enforcement officer are held accountable. This bill allows for the federal prosecution of anyone who attacks police officers, and I was proud to vote for this important legislation on the House Floor this week.
To those who kiss their loved-ones goodbye to run towards danger, instead of away, and dedicate their lives to protecting others – we thank you. In the face of danger, the courage and dedication of our police officers is inspiring. As National Police Week comes to a close, please join me in honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. May God bless these brave men and women and their families.
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) released the following statement in support of the legislation:
“Veterans deserve our utmost respect and the highest level of care, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has notoriously fallen short over the past few years. I was proud to support the VA MISSION Act to streamline and reform the VA’s community care programs, ensuring they can access the healthcare they so desperately need. Additionally, the bill prioritizes veterans’ access to healthcare in underserved areas, like those in rural areas. To those who have served our nation - I thank you - and I hope this legislation puts the VA on track to finally provide the exemplary support and care you deserve.”
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) addressed the Exchequer Club of Washington D.C. today to discuss his work as Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee and his perspective on the future of financial policy. Below are excerpts from Congressman Luetkemeyer’s speech, as prepared for delivery:
Luetkemeyer on Optimism
“Now more than any time in recent memory, optimism is high and the future is bright. However, resting on our laurels and simply hoping this momentum continues would be a mistake. The country, Congress, and the Financial Services Committee will soon face tough decisions that will shape financial policy in the coming years, and it comes down to two choices: Will we choose rhetoric over results and political ideology over economic progress? Or will we recognize the opportunity laid before us and work together to make the coming years even more prosperous for families, workers, and the businesses upon which they rely to build and maintain successful communities? I believe we will choose the latter.”
Luetkemeyer on S. 2155
“Right now, financial institutions are buried under a mountain of regulations. So, any relief is better than no relief. In our committee, we are also looking to package a significant number of additional regulatory relief bills that passed the House, or committee, with big bipartisan vote margins to send over to the senate… Our financial institutions deserve more relief, and I will continue to advocate for our financial institutions, to deliver meaningful bipartisan reforms.”
Luetkemeyer on Economic Freedom
“… we must remember our role in the economy and ensure that all Americans have fair access to an open economy. American consumers deserve strong protections, while also being afforded the opportunity to control their own financial decisions and futures. It is our responsibility to continue to support a robust U.S. economy through a fundamental shift back to reasonable and responsible financial regulation. Economic freedom is what sets us apart from the rest of the world, it makes all of this possible and we must protect it.”
Luetkemeyer on the Future
“Working with the Trump administration and my colleagues in Congress, we must continue to fight for pro-growth economic policies and keep our economy moving in the right direction. The United States will then be unstoppable, and we will take the rest of the world with us. I believe with the protection of our economic freedom, and with full confidence in the entrepreneurial ability of our people, our future looks bright. As the President said in his State of the Union Address, the era of economic surrender is over. This is a new American moment.”
Nearly five million people visit the United States Capitol each year. The building that serves as a symbol of freedom and democracy is also filled with incredible statues and paintings paying tribute to the men and women who built this great nation. Each day as I walk through the Capitol, I am still in awe. Since 1982, the Congressional Art Competition has provided high school students across the nation the opportunity to add their own improvements to the halls of the U.S. Capitol by displaying artwork from each congressional district.
High school students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have the opportunity each spring to showcase their artistic ability. A winner is chosen from each district to have their artwork displayed at the Capitol for a year. I may be biased, but we have some extremely talented students right here in Missouri. Over the years, I have seen many different types of submissions, ranging from paintings to drawings to photographs - and I am always blown away by the talent of these young people.
This year, my office received twenty-four submissions from across the district and the artwork was some of the best we have seen! This year’s first runner up was Joette Brinker from Washington High School. Her drawing entitled “Summer Memories” shows a young girl eating ice cream, done in black pen. Earning the second runner up spot was Cenzie LaCrone, a sophomore from St. Clair High School. Her artwork is entitled “Forever” and portrays her grandparents intertwined hands. She worked with pencil to create the artwork. Last, but not least, Addison Luetkemeyer’s “Pisces,” in colored pencil, earned third runner up. Addison’s artwork depicts two koi fish jumping in ocean waves in front of a starry galaxy background. In the center of the drawing is the constellation Pisces.
Courtney Walsch, a student at Linn High School was named the overall winner of the 2018 art competition for Missouri’s third district. Hailing from Chamois, Courtney’s artwork was entitled “Freedom.” Her oil painting depicts the Statue of Liberty at sunset. Courtney’s work showcases her incredible artistic skill and patriotism, and I was lucky enough to get to congratulate her in person recently.Thank you to all the students who participated in this year’s Congressional Art Competition and congratulations to our winners! As the overall winner, Courtney will have the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. and unveil her artwork. She will have the honor of having “Freedom” hang in the United States Capitol for the next year. I look forward to showing off her artwork to visitors from Missouri’s third district! Please visit my website Luetkemeyer.House.Gov for more details on the Congressional Art Competition – and please join me in congratulating all of our winners on their incredible artwork.
Earlier today, President Trump announced the termination of the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) released the following statement in support of President Trump’s actions:
“Even after the JCPOA was signed, Iran continued to threaten the stability of the Middle East and our allies around the world. I support President Trump’s action to withdraw from the Iran deal and make clear that the U.S. will not stand for their actions. We must continue to stand with Israel and work alongside the international community to hold Iran accountable and deny all paths to nuclear activities.”
Today Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William B. Long, urging him to promptly correct any potential floodplain map errors affecting Lake of the Ozarks residents. An advocate for sensible reform to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for nearly a decade, Congressman Luetkemeyer released the following statement:
“It’s essential that we immediately correct any problems. My constituents at the Lake of the Ozarks deserve peace of mind in knowing they can trust the accuracy of FEMA’s floodplain maps.”
Please click here for the full text of Congressman Luetkemeyer’s letter to Administrator Long.
As a former small business owner, I am always excited to highlight the great small businesses and small business owners in Missouri’s third district. This week we celebrate National Small Business Week – an opportunity to shop small at your favorite local shop or visit your favorite family-owned pizzeria.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and of the nation’s economy. There are more than 29 million small businesses in America, creating two-thirds of all new jobs in the nation. I’m proud to serve as the Vice Chairman of the House Small Business Committee because it gives me the opportunity to shape critical legislation to help our small business owners in Missouri and across the nation continue to grow and succeed.
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation to assist small businesses with job training, access to small business loans, and cybersecurity. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act will enhance oversight of the Small Business Administration’s lending program to increase transparency and accountability. It will also enhance the process in order to focus on more than just a credit score to determine the borrower’s creditworthiness – ensuring businesses have access to the critical funds they need to expand and grow.
As we increasingly rely upon technology in our day to day lives, cybersecurity has become a critical aspect of running a small business. That’s why the Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act and the Small Business Advanced Cybersecurity Enhancements Act of 2017 will be considered by the House next week. These bills will assist small businesses with their cybersecurity and cyber strategy needs. Including a program to assist businesses with planning and implementing cybersecurity measures to defend against cyber-attacks. With even the largest companies falling victim to breaches, many small businesses need additional help to keep their information safe.
Not only is it critical for small businesses to have cybersecurity measures in places to protect their consumers, it is also critical to protect themselves from intellectual property harm. The Small Business Innovation Protection Act is a bipartisan bill that will provide training to small businesses who need to learn more about domestic and international intellectual property laws.
Small business owners are often the first one to work each day, the last to leave, and the last one paid. Through these trials and tribulations, small business owners would agree that it is an extremely challenging, but rewarding experience to run a small business. As National Small Business Week comes to a close, I hope you will also remember the hard work our friends and neighbors put into their businesses and remember to shop small.
As your representative in Washington D.C. I will always advocate for policies that allow you to achieve your American Dream. To learn more about the important legislation the House will be voting on next week, please visit SmallBusiness.House.Gov, or tune in to CSpan and watch next week’s debate for yourself!
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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The Farm Bill is critical to our Missouri-03 farmers and rural communities. This week I had the opportunity to disc… https://t.co/CCUrC8c894
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PASSED: S. 2155 is headed to the President's desk! This a win for community financial institutions, a win for small… https://t.co/qCq4XVy7A5
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Today, too many consumers are left struggling to get the tools they need to achieve financial independence. S. 21… https://t.co/uUNRVBYczj