U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced the executive order to roll back the Obama’s Administration energy regulations.
“Today, President Trump followed through on another campaign promise – he is ushering in a new era for the American energy industry,” Luetkemeyer said. “Over the last several years, I have heard from countless Missourians who are worried about their rising electricity bills. Today starts the process of making energy more affordable but it also means our economy will create more good paying jobs and will become more energy independent by eliminating harmful executive orders and regulations. Above all, this move will ensure that our energy policy benefits Americans families and workers.”Read More
This was another jam packed week in the House of Representatives. Important bills on the House floor, three Committee hearings, and lots of informative constituent meetings were on the agenda for the past week.
First up, I was honored to receive the Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for my voting record of supporting small businesses and growing the economy. As a former small business owner, receiving this award has always been special. I know all of the hard-work that goes into owning a business and, at the end of the day, you want government out of the way so you can do your job well. I will continue to support our nation’s small businesses as I firmly believe that with their success, our nation grows, and we all succeed.
On the same note of small businesses, the House Small Business Committee held two important hearings this week. The first hearing was entitiled “Making Washington Work for America’s Small Businesses.” According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 63.3 percent of net new jobs created between 1993-2013. Several small business owners testified before the committee and underscored the fact that the government needs to reform the tax code, roll back regulations, and get the government out of health-care.
This week we also celebrated National Agriculture Day and the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade held a hearing entitled “The Future of America’s Small Family Farms.” The trend of this hearing was very similar to what was said the day before – tax reform, repeal of Obamacare, and the repeal of regulations such as WOTUS are of the upmost importance for their day-to-day lives.
Lastly, I had the pleasure of speaking to members from the Missouri Farm Bureau. I updated the group on what Washington is working on and what we are trying to accomplish to allow our Missouri farmers, ranchers, producers to grow. Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, the House has tackled a number of bills to rein in the ability of federal bureaucrats who are trying to circumvent Congress and impose harmful regulations on agriculture production. Agriculture is vital to our state’s economy and I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure a strong and stable future for our farmers.
I predict that productive weeks will be the norm in the coming months with lots of activity in the House of Representatives. It is important to stay informed and my staff and I will do my best to ensure you are. Again, if you have any questions, call any of my offices. My staff stands by ready and willing to help.Read More
In an effort to help America’s small businesses band together to purchase affordable health coverage, Vice Chair of the House Small Business Committee, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) supported H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act today.
This legislation allows small businesses to assemble together through Association Health Plans to purchase health-care for workers and their families.
“Over the last several years, the number of small business, with fewer than 10 employees, offering health insurance to their employees has dropped by almost 36 percent – in large part due to Obamacare,” Luetkemeyer said. “By creating these Association Health Plans for small businesses to purchase quality health care for workers and families at an affordable cost, the House of Representatives has taken the next step in the repeal and repeal process.
Luetkemeyer is a cosponsor of H.R. 1101 and this legislation is included in the Better Way agenda.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following release upon conclusion of the Financial Institution and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing entitled “Ending the De Novo Drought: Examining the Application Process for De Novo Financial Institutions.”
“Today, we took the first step at looking into why there are so few new banks and the barriers to entry for would-be community financial institutions,” Luetkemeyer said. “The historical data paints a very clear picture of what has happened since the passage of Dodd-Frank. From 2010 to 2016, there were only a handful of new bank and credit union charters granted. In comparison, more than 1,300 new banks and 75 credit unions were chartered between 2000 and 2008. However, with the new administration and economic outlook, both financial institutions and consumers are more optimistic than they have been in many years. We’ve heard of more de novo bank applications in the last few weeks than we saw new banks in the last several years of the Obama Administration. New financial institutions are a direct benefit to consumers and communities across the nation. This hearing marks the beginning of this conversation. The subcommittee will spend the next two years pursuing initiatives that promote financial choice and accessibility for all Americans.”Read More
Following the release of the Office of the Inspector General’s report ‘Evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration Crisis Line,’ which outlines numerous inefficiencies within the program, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement:
“The purpose of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) is to help our nation’s veterans at their most critical hour of need,” Luetkemeyer said. “Last year, after I learned that veterans were placed on hold or disconnected from the VCL, I sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs demanding improvements. The response that I received from the VA indicated it was taking the necessary steps to ensure that every veteran calling into the VCL would be immediately connected with a trained professional to get the highest quality of care. Clearly that is not the case. I will be contacting the VA regarding this most recent report and I am calling on Secretary David Shulkin to immediately make the changes necessary to ensure that our veterans receive all the help they deserve.”Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) supported three different pieces of legislation on the House floor this week that would hold the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable to the veterans it serves, protect veterans and their Second Amendment rights, and empower the VA to hire and retain the best employees in their field.
“After years of mismanagement, it is imperative that there is proper oversight and that the Department of Veterans Affairs is held accountable for its conduct and actions,” Luetkemeyer said. “Two of the bills passed today ensure that VA employees are held accountable and that the Secretary of the VA has the ability to quickly identify staffing shortages and hire or retain high quality employees. The other House-passed bill ensures that VA bureaucrats cannot infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of our veterans. I am proud to support these common-sense, bipartisan pieces of legislation and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to bring these to the floor in a timely manner.”
H.R. 1181, the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, would prevent VA bureaucrats from infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of our veterans, instead requiring a judicial authority to make that ruling.
H.R. 1259, the VA Accountability First Act, which would provide the VA secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees, including Senior Executive Service Employees, for performance or misconduct.
H.R. 1367, to improve the authority of the Secretary of the VA to hire and retain physicians and other employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This bill would improve the VA’s ability to quickly staff, recruit and retain the best and brightest individuals to ensure our veterans receive the best care.Read More
Another successful week is in the books. There is a lot to discuss regarding this past week, so let’s get to it.
I started the week off with two radio segments. The first was with our listeners around the Jefferson City area on KWOS, and then I was on KWRE, which serves listeners surrounding Warren and St. Charles Counties. I make, roughly, a dozen radio calls throughout the 3rd District per month and it serves as a great opportunity for me to give the listeners my view from Washington and to take questions from callers who are listening.
After the radio segments, I hit the road and traveled to Fulton where I spent the day meeting with several individuals.
First, I met with the Callaway County Superintendents to discuss the future of our nation’s health-care system and the Department of Labor’s overtime rule, as well as educational concerns. These superintendents, and all of the individuals across the district who hold these jobs, are tasked with ensuring the 3rd District’s youth are receiving a high-quality education. I cannot thank them enough for all they do on a daily basis. Up next, I met with officials from the city of Fulton and commissioners from Callaway County and we discussed a number of EPA regulations that have hurt our local cities and counties.
From there, I made two stops at manufacturing plants in Fulton. First, I had the opportunity to tour Danuser Machine Company. Danuser has over 90 employees and the company is currently working on an 11,000 square foot expansion. Danuser is an Original Equipment Manufacturer for over 800 customers, including John Deere. It was great to see the products they work hard to produce and that are shipped throughout the country from mid-Missouri. Then I went to Henderson Products, a company that manufactures a range of truck equipment products such as snow plows, sand and salt spreaders, and anti-ice systems, to name a few. To round out my day, I stopped by the Fulton Power Plant where I got a tour of its inner workings, met with its employees, and learned how it keeps the lights on for the city of Fulton. All in all, it was a great day. I’m always amazed and humbled to be able to represent such hard-working Missourians in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The work week in Washington was shortened due to a snowstorm that hit, but on the House floor, we were still able to successfully send a trio of veterans bills to the Senate. These bills will directly hold the Department of Veterans (VA) accountable to the veterans it serves, protect veterans and their Second Amendment rights, and empower the VA to hire and retain veterans in its workforce.
Another highlight was meeting with constituents from the 3rd District that were in Washington with the Agriculture Leadership of Tomorrow program. We had a great conversation about agriculture policy, as well as ensuring that Missouri’s farming and ranching tradition continues into the future. Agriculture remains our state’s number one industry, and I’m confident that this ALOT class will make a positive impact on our state for many years down the road.
Overall, it was a great week. Throughout the next several months, I look forward to stopping by your area and highlighting all of the great things that happen in the 3rd District of Missouri on a day to day basis. If you want to see pictures from my travels or from Washington, make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for a behind the scenes look. Until next week!Read More
Following House passage of U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, companion legislation was recently introduced in the United States Senate.
U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee introduced S. 577, the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, as both a stand-alone bill and as a provision in a broader regulatory reform package – the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act.
“I am incredibly pleased my colleagues in the Senate also understand the need for greater transparency and reduced regulation from the federal government,” Luetkemeyer said. “I want to thank Senator Lankford for taking the lead on this legislation as we take one step closer to getting this common-sense legislation signed into law.”
The Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act would require government agencies to provide a short, plain language summary for every proposed regulation and make it publicly available online to ensure all Americans have access and understanding of the regulations that will affect them.
“Small businesses are responsible for nearly two-thirds of job growth in America, so it is important that Washington fully analyzes regulatory impacts on small businesses before a rule is finalized,” Lankford said. “This bill is desperately needed because federal agencies frequently use loopholes in the process to avoid the full economic analysis of a proposed regulation on small businesses. The Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act will ensure that the needs and priorities of small business are fully taken into account early in the rulemaking process.”
The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, has stated that this legislation will “place strong protections to ensure that federal agencies fully consider the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses…forcing government regulators to include the indirect impact of their regulations in their assessments of a regulation’s impact on small businesses.”
The Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act passed the House on January 11, 2017 as a provision of H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017.Read More
“Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, my wife and I have seen two major effects on our health insurance. Premiums have gone up sharply, they are now doubled what they were half a decade ago. Worse than that, our deductibles have gone up sharply.” – Stephen, Osage Beach.
The above statement from an individual in the 3rd District is just one example of the countless stories I have heard about how Obamacare has drastically impacted Americans. These stories have not fallen on deaf ears. My colleagues and I have heard from individuals, families, doctors, and small businesses to craft a replacement that will empower you, not Washington. Over the last several years, House Republicans have continued to make a promise and that is that we will not only repeal Obamacare but we will also replace it with conservative solutions that put families, doctors, and states back in charge.
Obamacare is failing, so I agree with President Trump that the American Health Care Act is a critical first step in saving our country’s health-care system. This legislation will go through as a budget reconciliation bill, which means that a minority of Senators cannot obstruct and block its consideration and passage. Next, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will take administrative action which will stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs. Lastly, Congress will advance additional legislative policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, that cannot be included in a reconciliation bill.
So, what is in this bill? I encourage everyone to go to readthebill.gop. On that website, you can find the full text of the legislation. We want everyone to have access to the American Health Care Act so you know what is in it and there are not any secrets.
First and foremost, the American Health Care Act preserves many important protections for patients and their families while making common-sense reforms to provide patients flexibility and reduced costs. This bill ensures coverage for pre-existing conditions, allows young adults to remain on their parents insurance to age 26, keeps the Medicare Part D donut hole closed, blocks federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, and provides tax relief by getting rid of Obamacare’s worst taxes and ending the individual mandate.
The plan provides Americans access to a portable, monthly tax credit that can be used to buy a health insurance plan that is right for them – not one tied to a government mandated program. It nearly doubles the amount of money people can contribute to Health Savings Accounts and make these accounts more flexible so individuals can use it to purchase things they really need – like over-the-counter medications.
In addition, the American Health Care Act returns power to the states with the biggest entitlement reform in a generation. For the states across the country that expanded Medicaid, this bill phases out the expansion and puts the program on a budget, ending its open-ended funding and showing that entitlements can be reformed and made solvent for future generations. Missouri did not expand Medicaid, so Missourians who qualify for Medicaid will not be impacted.
In the weeks ahead, House Republicans and Congress will consider this plan through an open and transparent process. I have been to many meetings and briefings regarding the American Health Care Act and those will continue as the process moves along. I will continue to keep you informed of what is happening in Congress and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my offices so they can provide additional information.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
“This critical bill pays our troops, provides the necessary care for them and their families, and provides our men and women in uniform with the necessary tools to succeed on the battlefield,” Luetkemeyer said. “For the first time in six years, there is a 2.1 percent military pay raise for the men and women bravely defending our country. In addition, there is funding for 14 F/A-18 Super Hornets, which is important to the state of Missouri and our national security.”
Additional provisions in this legislation include a prohibition of Guantanamo Bay transfers to the United States and a prohibition of implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.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.