Blaine Luetkemeyer

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Blaine's Bulletin: Preserving the Cash Method of Accounting for Our Nation's Job Creators

2014/09/12

Complicated, complex, and confusing are just a few words that come to mind when I think about the nation’s tax code. And during a time when words like bipartisanship and common-sense are not often heard in Washington, I am proud to have recently led an effort in the House that is both bipartisan and makes common-sense for the people of Missouri.

It all centers on whether or not folks should be able to use the cash method of accounting or be forced to use the accrual method of accounting when doing their books. The cash method has traditionally been popular with many folks, because, under it, one pays taxes on the money that comes in. Those who use the cash method of accounting include many of our nation’s job creators and professionals including accountants, architects, attorneys, dentists, engineers, famers, physicians, and financial service professionals. 

As reforms to the tax code have been discussed, a few people in Washington have suggested forcing many more small businesses to use the accrual method instead of the cash method. I strongly support simplifying and fixing our broken tax code, but mandating a switch in accounting systems for small businesses is not the way to go. 

In contrast to cash accounting, under the proposals that have been floated in Washington, these small businesses and small professional firms would have to switch to the accrual method of accounting. This method recognizes when a service is performed, regardless of when cash is collected. The cash method is preferred by so many because they often do not have the benefit of matching revenues to expenses, many of which are already fixed. Furthermore, the cash accounting method is the foundation which these businesses have built their business models around. With the accrual method, these businesses would be forced to pay taxes on income they have not yet received which would result being taxed at a higher tax bracket or even be subject to additional taxes.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes businesses and professionals are not paid on time, in full, or at all for their goods and services, and the accrual method does take this fact into consideration.  Job creators and professionals often don’t have the extra resources when it comes to maneuvering the complicated tax structure, and, ultimately, this proposal would hinder small businesses and professional firms from growing, and, even worse, it would require them to pay taxes up front on money that may never arrive.

As I investigated this issue, I was pleased to find that a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives agreed with me.  Recently, I sent a letter to the leaders of the House with the backing of 233 of my colleagues urging them to consider the importance of the cash accounting for those that utilize this method of bookkeeping. It is clear when over half of the House of Representatives heard from constituents and small business owners in their districts; this is an issue that should not be ignored.

As tax reform discussions continue through the remainder of this year and in the next Congress, I believe the House of Representatives sent a strong message to House leaders to recognize the importance of the cash method of accounting. America is long overdue for a tax code that is based upon fairness and simplification, not complex and confusing, which is why I will continue to support the ability of small businesses, farms, and small professional service firms to use the cash method of accounting.

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Luetkemeyer Votes to Restore Health-Care Plans for American Workers

2014/09/11

After a failed promise by the President telling Americans “if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor,” U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) voted for legislation that would allow Americans to keep their health plans.

“Millions of Americans were assured by the President that if they liked their current health-care coverage, they would be able to keep it. However, hard-working Americans who have not been able to keep their coverage, know that President Obama had no idea what he was talking about in his own health-care law,” Luetkemeyer said. “I’m proud to support legislation that would give Americans the peace of mind that they can keep their health-care plan and keep their doctor, if they choose to do so.”

The Employee Health Care Protection Act would help American workers keep their health plans and fulfill the President’s broken promise by giving Americans in the group insurance market the opportunity to keep their policies in 2014 through 2019. In addition, this bill would ensure that Americans enrolled in these health plans would not face a penalty under the individual mandate.

According to a Rasmussen Report, 56 percent of Americans view the President’s health-care law unfavorably and 39 percent view the law very unfavorably.

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Reps. Luetkemeyer, Schneider, Quigley, and Hudson Urge House Leadership to Preserve Accounting Flexibility

2014/09/11

U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Brad Schneider (IL-10), Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) led a bipartisan letter with 229 colleagues to House Leadership urging them to preserve the simple and appropriate cash method of accounting for small businesses and service firms.

“America is long overdue for a tax code that is based upon fairness and simplification, not complex and confusing,” Luetkemeyer said.  “I am pleased that more than half of the House of Representatives recognize the importance of preserving the cash method of accounting for our nation’s job creators which are small businesses and service firms. I will continue to support common-sense approaches to reforming our nation’s tax code. ”

“Modernizing and simplifying our tax code is critical to achieving long-term, sustainable economic growth,” Schneider said. “While it is imperative that we enact comprehensive tax reform, needlessly forcing small businesses and farms to switch accounting methods would have the unintended consequence of creating greater complexity and economic disincentives in our tax code—stifling growth at a time when we should be helping these businesses build and hire.”

“America’s federal tax code must be overhauled from top to bottom, but not with cumbersome and unnecessary reforms that restrict the success and competitiveness of our small businesses and service firms,” Quigley said. “Instead of forcing them to use a complex accounting system that limits flexibility, we should focus on simplifying our tax code and develop incentives that encourage small businesses growth and job creation.”

“Every day, America’s small businesses struggle as they are they are forced to comply with excessive rules and regulations coming out of Washington,” Hudson said. “Forcing small businesses to change accounting methods creates more confusion and complexity, making it difficult for them to grow and hire and hindering economic growth. We need to make common sense reforms to our current tax code to make it work for these job creators, not against them.”

In March 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee released a tax reform discussion draft, which included a number of proposals adjusting business accounting methods. While the proposal would expand the cash accounting method for C Corporations, it would also create new limits on pass-through entities, personal service companies, and farmers—forcing businesses to use the more complex accrual accounting method once they accumulate more than $10 million in gross receipts.  This would stifle natural economic growth for small businesses as they approach the newly proposed cap.    

In November 2013, Schneider, Luetkemeyer, Quigley, Hudson and 67 of their colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee urging them to consider the consequences of proposed tax reforms that would restrict accounting flexibility and force businesses to switch accounting methods.

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Luetkemeyer Votes to Hold the President Accountable for the Transfer of Taliban Officials

2014/09/09

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) today voted in support of legislation condemning the President for his actions in transferring the five Taliban officials.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the President to notify Congress no later than 30 days before the transfer or release of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay. The President failed to meet this obligation when he transferred five Taliban terrorists on May 31, 2014.

“Our men and women in uniform should be a top priority,” Luetkemeyer said. “The President cannot continue to circumvent Congress with his thoughtless actions and this resolution is the House of Representatives condemning and holding him accountable for the lawless way in which he transferred five Taliban terrorists. The Administration had plenty of time to notify Congress of the transfer to remain in compliance with the law, however, the President made the decision not to consult Congress. We cannot stand by and allow this President to continue to skirt the law.”

On August 21, 2014, the Government Accountability Office  released a report on the President’s compliance with statutory notification requirements. In that report, GAO stated that “In our view, the meaning of the law is clear and unambiguous.” The report reaffirms existing law by stating “Section 8111 [FY2014 NDAA] prohibits the use of ‘funds appropriated or otherwise made available’ in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to transfer any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or control of a foreign entity’ except in accoradance with the FY2014 NDAA.”

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Luetkemeyer Applauds U.S. Department of Transportation’s Tiger Grant for New Route 47 Missouri Bridge Project

2014/09/09

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) today applauds the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent decision to award a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant of $10 million for the new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge.

“Since coming to Congress, I have been an advocate for securing funding for the new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge which is now nearly 80 years old. Replacing the bridge is not just a safety issue but will also provide a major connecting link between Interstate 70 and Interstate 44 in eastern Missouri,” Luetkemeyer said. “I am extremely pleased that MoDOT has been awarded this TIGER grant for the new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge. This project is important because it will boost economic growth by connecting goods and services throughout the region and the state.”

For several years, Luetkemeyer has sent letters to the U.S. DOT in support for a TIGER grant.

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Luetkemeyer Votes to Prevent the Administration’s Land Grab of Our Nation’s Waters

2014/09/09

Continuing his efforts to halt the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Administration’s constant attempts at overregulating our nation’s farmers and landowners, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) voted in support of the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.

“Today the House casted yet another important vote in an attempt to roll back another regulation from the Administration. The EPA wants to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act on small business and farmers by taking out the word “navigable” from “navigable waters” which would extend its authority to just about any body of water. This means that when a drop of rain touches a ditch, stream, or puddle, the EPA has every right to regulate it,” Luetkemeyer said. “A proposal like this, which would extend the EPA’s reach to waters never intended to be regulated, cannot be left to Washington bureaucrats working behind closed doors and I’m proud to support this bill to halt this federal land grab of our nation’s waters.”

Missouri Farm Bureau has also been in front of this issue and informing Missouri’s farmers and landowners of the potential negative effects  of this proposed rule and applauds Congress for sending a clear message to the Administration.

“If EPA won’t heed calls to ditch its “Waters of the U.S.” rulemaking, Congress should,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. “We appreciate Congressman Luetkemeyer and other members of our U.S. House delegation carrying that message to Washington, D.C. and voting to stop the agency’s proposal.”

The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act would prohibit the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a rule that expands the federal government’s regulatory power by broadening the scope of the Clean Water Act. Luetkemeyer is a co-sponsor of the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act and has signed on to multiple letters to the EPA urging them to rescind this rule.

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Blaine's Bulletin: Staying Engaged with the 3rd Congressional District

2014/09/05

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.” – John Adams

When I travel the 3rd Congressional District each week, I am always eager to hear your concerns about things going on around our nation. We are at a critical point in our nation’s history and because there is so much happening across not only the United States but also around the world, it’s important for you to stay informed. Whether you call my offices in Missouri or Washington or send me an email, I value your input because as your voice in Congress, I have a responsibility to take the concerns of Main Street and ensure they are heard in your Capitol.

During my time in Congress, I have been fortunate to visit with many of you through the different means of communication that my offices provide. For the third time this year, my staff will host Constituent Service Days. These allow you to share your concerns face-to-face with members of my staff. These Constituent Service Days will be held in all 13 counties beginning Monday, Sept. 15 and will run through Thursday, Sept. 18. For more than five years my office has been able to assist hundreds of folks as a result of Constituent Service Days and I encourage you to attend if you have any questions or concerns. For dates, times, and locations, please go to my website www.luetkemeyer.house.gov to get all the information. Or call the Jefferson City office at 573-635-7232 to get the details.

Another example of communication I’ve implemented since I’ve been in Congress are Tele-Town Hall meetings. These are telephone conference calls that I hold several times a year. They allow thousands of people to call and not just listen to me talk about what’s happening in Washington and the 3rd Congressional District but this also provides an opportunity for you to ask me a question directly. To sign up for these, please go to my website at www.luetkemeyer.house.gov.

Lastly, since I’ve been in Congress, social media has become an integral part of my commitment to communicating with you. To that end, I wanted to make sure you are aware of my involvement in several social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Each of these tools provides you with unique insight into what I’m working on in Congress. For up-to-the minute news on my work as a member of the Financial Services Committee and Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee, find me on Twitter. If you want to see who’s stopped by my office or who I’m meeting at home, please find me on Instagram. Then there’s Facebook, which provides you with the opportunity to read news from a variety of daily media sources. Lastly, if you want to watch videos from Committee hearings or speeches I’ve given on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, you’ll find them on my YouTube page.

As you can see, there are several avenues that are available to stay connected. However, if you want to send a handwritten letter or pick up the phone and give my staff a call, my staff is ready and willing to either answer your question or help with any concern or issue you may have. As always, thank you for the honor of serving you.

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Luetkemeyer Announces Dates for Third Constituent Service Days in 2014

2014/09/05

Keeping his commitment of constituent outreach, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) announced the dates for the third Constituent Service Days this year.

Luetkemeyer’s staff will host the third round of Constituent Service Days in all 13 counties of the 3rd Congressional District beginning Monday, Sept. 15 and running through Thursday, Sept 18.

“Constituent Service Days allows you to meet with my staff to discuss any issues and ask questions you may have,” Luetkemeyer said. “As a result of holding these meetings for the past five years, my office has been able to assist and help hundreds of folks and I certainly look to build upon that. I encourage everyone to attend a Constituent Service meeting in your area.”

Monday, September 15th

Cole County
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Russellville City Hall
13203 Railroad Avenue, Russellville
Hosts: Jeremy Ketterer, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Miller County
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Miller County Courthouse
2001 Highway 52, Tuscumbia
Hosts: Jeremy Ketterer, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Camden County
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Osage Beach City Hall
1000 City Parkway, Osage Beach
Hosts: Jeremy Ketterer, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Callaway County
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Fulton City Hall
18 E. 4th Street, Fulton
Hosts: Jeremy Ketterer, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Tuesday, September 16th

Montgomery County
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Bellflower City Hall
100 S Main Street, Bellflower     
Hosts: Tanner Smith, District Office Director

Franklin County
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Union City Hall
400 East Locust Street, Union
Hosts: Jim McNichols, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Jefferson County
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Crystal City - City Hall
130 Mississippi Ave, Crystal City
Hosts: Jim McNichols, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Wednesday, September 17th

Warren County
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Truesdale City Hall
109 Pinckney Road, Truesdale
Hosts: Tanner Smith, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Lincoln County
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Elsberry City Hall
201 Broadway, Elsberry
Hosts: Tanner Smith, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

St. Charles County
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
West Alton City Hall
14068 North State Route 94, West Alton
Hosts: Tanner Smith, District Office Director & Keri Stuart, Director of Constituent Affairs

Thursday, September 18th

Osage County
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Linn City Hall
1200 East Main Street, Linn
Hosts: Laura Hardecke, Office Manager & Lori Boyken, Constituent Liaison

Gasconade County
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Owensville City Hall
107 W Sears Ave, Owensville
Hosts: Laura Hardecke, Office Manager & Lori Boyken, Constituent Liaison

Maries County
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Belle City Hall
104 E 3rd Street, Belle
Hosts: Laura Hardecke, Office Manager & Lori Boyken, Constituent Liaison

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Blaine's Bulletin- "Waters of the United States"

2014/08/29

In the nearly six years since the Obama Administration took office, thousands of new regulations have been issued by various federal agencies.  This week, I’m going to highlight just one regulation from just one federal agency: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Waters of the United States” rule.  Please keep in mind, however, that this is just one example of one rule from one agency.  If you think about the impact that this one regulation will have, and the fact that thousands have been issued in the last six years, it illustrates why many people say that our economy and our country are getting buried under an avalanche of red tape. 

The EPA, created to protect human health and the environment, has issued approximately 2,800 new regulations under the Obama Administration. Earlier this year, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule that would revise the definition of “waters of the United States” in all sections of the Clean Water Act. To simplify, the EPA wants to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act on small businesses and farmers by effectively taking out the word “navigable” from “navigable waters” and thereby extending its authority to just about any body of water, no matter how big or how small, as long as it is “hydrologically connected.” In effect, the minute a drop of rain touches a pond, well, ditch, stream bed, or even puddle, the EPA could claim the right to regulate it. I had the opportunity to voice my opposition to this rule and share my concerns about it with the Deputy EPA Administrator when he appeared before the House Small Business Committee. Not only does the EPA not have a good reason for trying to implement this rule in general, but the agency also failed to go through a legally required review process in which concerns about the impact of the rule specifically on small businesses could be raised.  This is the epitome of government run amok.

One particular organization, the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, is on the ground talking to farmers, ranchers, landowners, small business folks, and concerned citizens throughout the state about what kind of negative impact this rule would have on our state and its people. Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst offered this insight to the proposed rule: “Billed as an attempt to clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the 'Waters of the U.S.' proposal would do just that, but by significantly expanding the reach of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers – to the detriment of state and local governments. Farmers and landowners have had enough and are urging the agencies to “ditch the rule.” In the meantime, EPA should spend less time messaging and more time listening to farmers, landowners, business owners, and others concerned about their proposed rule.”

Mr. Hurst put its best when he said the EPA should spend less time messaging the proposed rules and more time listening. Earlier this year, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy went on a public relations tour in Missouri to promote the administration's environmental agenda. Missourians already know how to be good stewards of our environment in order to preserve it for future generations, and no visit by the head of the EPA from Washington, DC will persuade us otherwise. 

In Congress, I have signed on to the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act which would prohibit the EPA and Army Corps from implementing a rule that expands the federal government’s regulatory power by broadening the scope of the Clean Water Act. In addition, I have signed on to multiple letters urging the agencies to rescind this illogical rule. While this is only one example of one bad regulation from one federal agency, please know I will continue to fight harmful regulations as they come down the pike.

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Blaine's Bulletin - Federal Reserve

2014/08/22

After visiting with countless families and individuals across Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, I have found that hard-working individuals, those living on a fixed income, and small businesses understand their pocketbooks are lighter and their economic future is not as bright. This is an issue that starts and ends with the policies and rhetoric of this administration, enabled by the Federal Reserve.

Entrepreneurs and inventors grow economies but only when government stays out of the way and central banks practice restrained, responsible monetary policy. Unfortunately, the administration’s failed economic policies, including high taxes, crushing regulations and reckless spending, have harmed the economy in ways that the Fed has been unable to counter despite its best attempts. The path to lasting growth is not through the Fed, but rather through tax and regulatory reform.

The economy appears less and less responsive to additional monetary stimulus that for the last five years has been championed by the Federal Reserve. The result: an economic recovery that is the slowest in modern times. By pushing interest rates down, the Federal Reserve’s exceptionally accommodative monetary policy hurts those Americans who want to save their money.

For several years now, the Federal Reserve has blurred the lines between fiscal and monetary policy and the Fed's pumping plan has resulted in roughly $4 trillion in purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage backed securities and created a stock market that is, according to many economists, a bubble ready to burst. This one example highlights the need for the Fed to adopt a rules‐based monetary policy rather than the politically expedient method currently being employed. 

As a former bank examiner and community banker, I recognize these macro decisions being made by the Federal Reserve and its allies in Washington are being acutely felt by retirees, those living on a fixed income, and farmers, ranchers and small businesses across the country.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I can tell you that House Republicans are keenly aware of the need for real reform at the Federal Reserve. That is why there is growing support for the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 which would require the Fed to be more accountable to Congress and you. More specifically, this reform package requires the Fed to conduct cost-benefit analyses on its rules, publicly disclose its positions in international negotiations, and release information on the salaries of Federal Reserve staff which, unlike pay at other federal agencies and in Congress, have never been made public.

After the July 16 hearing in the House Financial Services Committee, it is clear that Chair Yellen talks a big game and is interested in at least entertaining rules-based policy reform, but only time will tell if she can or will make good on her rhetoric to improve not only communication between the Federal Reserve and policymakers but also address the many issues impacting the millions of Americans living on fixed incomes. If she follows through, then there is a chance this administration will embrace bills like the Federal Accountability and Transparency Act and allow it to become law.

We cannot afford to wait and neither can Americans at the mercy of the Federal Reserve.

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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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