As I prepare to head back to Washington after a few uninterrupted weeks of visiting with folks throughout Missouri’s 3rd District, I find myself reflecting on the issues that were discussed and what is on your minds.
I heard from some of you who are concerned about what Congress has accomplished so far this year. I am pleased to report that during the first seven months of the 114th Congress, the House passed 190 bills. In addition, under our country’s new Republican-led Congress, there have been 29 bills enacted in law. The historical average is 21. Some of the issues the House has addressed is building a healthy economy, defending the values that make America great, keeping our great country safe by supporting strong American leadership, and making Washington more effective and accountable.
In addition to passing laws, I agree with the many Missourians who believe that Congress must do more to block the regulations coming out of the Obama Administration, which continue to threaten our economy and the livelihoods of our citizens.
In particular, I will continue to work to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I was pleased to speak at a press conference with several of my colleagues and the Missouri Farm Bureau at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. The purpose of the press conference was to reiterate our unwavering determination to ensure the EPA does not redefine the scope of the Clean Water Act. This rule not only drastically increases federal power but it expands the areas defined as “waters of the United States” by effectively removing the word “navigable” from the definition in the Clean Water Act, and would essentially mean that ditches and drainage areas are under federal control. Not only have I spent a lot of time educating folks about this overreaching land grab by the government, but across the country this is a hot topic because it will negatively affect those that work in home building, energy exploration, and municipal development sectors.
In addition to burdensome EPA regulations, many of you expressed uncertainty about the direction of our nation’s economy and are yearning for different approaches that will not only bring stability but will also bring more growth. The current administration believes that with more government interference, a thriving country will emerge. But with the official unemployment rate currently at 5.3 percent – which doesn’t take into account workers who want to work full-time, but can only find part-time work, and workers who want to work, but have given up on finding employment – clearly, the status quo is not working. You understand that government does not create jobs and it can very much stifle the entrepreneurial spirit, but, unfortunately, far too many bureaucrats in Washington just don’t get it. I have had many meetings and conversations this year with representatives from different government agencies to discuss rules and regulations that are either costing our district new jobs, or threatening existing ones.
As your voice in Washington, I will take all that I have heard from you and work with my colleagues on policies that will unleash the spirit of our great country. This fall is shaping up to be a very busy one and I am ready to head back to Washington to tackle the tasks at hand and fight for our shared priorities.Read More
Something that we can all agree on is that every child in every school deserves access to an excellent education. However, our country is falling short of achieving the goal of every child receiving a solid educational foundation.
Currently, only 38 percent of high school seniors can read at grade level and 26 percent are proficient in math. What is even more alarming is out of 34 countries, students in the United States rank 20th and 27th in science and math, respectively. What all of these numbers basically mean is that the K-12 education system is failing our children.
In order to replace the flawed No Child Left Behind Act, earlier this summer the House of Representatives passed the Student Success Act. This legislation is a proposal to reduce the federal footprint, empower parents and educators to hold schools accountable, and restore education back to local control. A few highlights of this comprehensive legislation are: eliminating 69 duplicative and ineffective programs and replace them with a Local Academic Flexible Grant to help schools support students; protecting the decision making ability of individual states by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core standards; and ensuring parents have the information they need to hold schools accountable, while at the same time ending the era of high-stakes testing.
Our K-12 educational system isn’t the only issue at hand. We must also make reforms and improvements to higher education. America’s higher education system is far too costly. Over the last decade, the average costs of attending four-year public and private nonprofit institutions increased by 42 percent and 24 percent, respectively. In addition, federal student aid and repayment programs are too complex and confusing. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s response to these issues has been more federal regulations, mandates, and costly programs; a response that is leaving our students at a disadvantage.
Later this year, Congress will debate the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. My colleagues and I are working to not only reauthorize, but reform this law in order to empower students and families to make decisions by improving data transparency and simplifying student aid by consolidating the current patchwork of federal programs and streamlining the application process.
Every student should have the opportunity to have a high quality education and to attend a school that is not failing. I will continue to work to find ways to control the cost of a college education, expand access to more students, and ensure that citizens at the local level are making the decisions - not the federal government.Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) discussed regulatory overreach during the Missouri Farm Bureau led press conference with other members from the Missouri delegation.
“This morning’s press conference provided an excellent opportunity to educate the public about the continued federal overreach coming out of Washington and what we are doing to combat these regulations from the Obama administration,” Luetkemeyer said. “The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule will undoubtedly have an enormous impact on the agriculture community but will also negatively affect many others, including those that work in the home building, energy exploration, and municipal development sectors. It is so important to keep shedding light on this rule, among other rules, until it is finally repealed.”
The press conference included topics regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WOTUS rule, the Clean Power Plan rule, and other regulatory overreach out of Washington.
Along with Luetkemeyer, Senator Roy Blunt and U.S. Representatives Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Jason Smith (MO-08), American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Veronica Nigh, and Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst participated in the conference.Read More
Earlier this month, the president and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the finalized rule to regulate emissions from existing power plants, mandating a 32 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
So what does this mean? Let me break this down a little more. An early analysis of the proposed rule that called for a 30 percent decrease found that electricity prices would increase an average of 12-17 percent by 2030 meaning that the average Missouri household’s annual bill will increase by $235. As a direct result, 1.2 million jobs would be lost by 2030 as manufacturing moves overseas and families have less take-home pay.
Even worse, this rule comes with a hefty price tag. It is estimated the rule will cost Americans consumers and businesses $41 billion or more each year.
I have heard from many of you who fear this rule will not only have a devastating impact across our country, but especially in Missouri. More than 85 percent of Missourian’s electricity is generated by coal combustion. With this rule, the state would have to reduce its emissions by 28 percent. That simply means these forced decreases will result in increased energy prices that cost jobs and could potentially shutter some of the power plants that provide good-paying jobs to Missouri citizens.
The House of Representatives has already been proactive to negate this rule. Earlier this summer, the House passed the Ratepayer Protection Act which would extend the compliance dates of the Clean Power Plan until proper judicial review is conducted. More importantly, this legislation would ensure that no state would be forced to enact a state or federal implementation plan of the rule if the governor finds that doing so would significantly increase electricity prices or threaten reliability.
During a time when Missourians are paying more for everything, it is unconscionable the president and this administration would move forward with what is basically a national energy tax. Furthermore, rules from the EPA should not be based off of inconsistent data and science. I will continue to support additional legislation that acts in the best interests of American taxpayers and to continue to fight off the costly and burdensome regulations which stem from the administration.Read More
Serving as your representative is comprised of several components. Some of the components are committee work, voting, sponsoring pieces of legislation, touring businesses around the 3rd District and meeting with constituents. However, there is another part of my job, and I believe a very important one, which is providing services for constituents.
The seat I hold in the House of Representatives does not belong to me; it belongs to more than 760,000 Missourians in 13 counties. As your liaison to the government, hearing from, and interacting, with the constituents I serve is my top priority. When you interact with the office, whether it’s via letter, email, telephone, or social media, it lets me know what is important to you and helps me better serve our district.
There are several ways to interact with me. First, every couple of months I host a tele-town hall. The concept is simple. Simply sign up for it by going to my website and the evening of the call - you just need to pick up your phone and you can listen in or you can participate. Tele-town halls are a great way for individuals to ask what’s on their mind and they can hear, firsthand, my views on the issues of the day.
In addition, my staff hosts Constituent Service Days in each county across the 3rd District four times per year. These allow you to share your concerns face-to-face with members of my staff at a convenient location. For more than five years, my office has been able to assist hundreds of individuals as a result of these meetings. The last round wrapped up this summer but there will be more sessions in the following months. Once locations are scheduled, please be on the lookout in your local newspaper or visit my website to learn about where my staff will be in your area.
If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give one of our four offices a call. Approximately, the offices receive more than 3,000 correspondences each month and my staff responds to each and every inquiry. The team is always ready and willing to answer any question or help with concerns or issues you may have.
It is an honor to serve you as your representative and I look forward to continuing our interactions together.Read More
The month of July has proven to be very busy in America’s new Congress. Whether it was meeting with folks from the 3rd District, going to the several Small Business and Financial Services Committee hearings, or tracking the incessant rain throughout the state – there is a lot to recap this month.
Having been in the Financial Services industry for many years and now a member of the Financial Services Committee, the five year anniversary of Dodd-Frank which occurred this month hit home to me. What have we seen throughout the past five years? The economy has been stagnant, not lifted and unelected bureaucracies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council have raised serious doubt that any meaningful steps have been taken to protect taxpayers and consumers. The Financial Services Committee has held several hearing on Dodd-Frank and we will continue to offer solutions so American consumers can have restored faith in their financial system.
This month, the House also took the first step in reforming the outdated No Child Left Behind with the Student Success Act. This reform bill would reduce federal influence in education as well as empower state and local education programs. I am a firm believer that top-down, single-size performance standards hurt students. This legislation eliminates 65 duplicative programs and protects states and local schools over decisions in the classroom by preventing the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core standards. The Senate passed its own education reform bill and now the House and Senate will need to go to Conference to find common ground between the two pieces of legislation.
Lastly, in light of the horrific murder by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco this month, the House passed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. Sanctuary cities have created havens for illegal immigrants and this practice is completely unlawful. This legislation would prohibit federal funding to state or localities that restrict or prohibit their officials from properly enforcing federal immigration law.
Dodd-Frank, the Student Success Act, and the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act are just three examples of what the House has debated and worked on this month. Throughout the next few weeks, I will continue to monitor the investigations into Planned Parenthood, review the Iran nuclear deal, and talk with individuals around the 3rd District about additional issues that are on your mind. With July behind us, it’s time to look ahead and what we will accomplish next.Read More
The House Financial Services Committee passed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) legislation which would prevent federal agencies from abusing executive power and blocking the access of legally-operating businesses to financial services.
Luetkemeyer’s legislation, H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, would dictate that agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve could not request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has material reason. In addition, the legislation would strike the word “affecting” in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), replacing it with “by” or “against.” This is to ensure the Department of Justice’s broad misinterpretation of the law is limited and the original intent of the statute is restored.
“I am pleased a group of bipartisan Members of the Financial Services Committee showed there is a need to curb the abuse of authority seen in Operation Choke Point,” Luetkemeyer said. “This legislation needs to be codified into law so that federal agencies don’t fall into the illegal and abusive practices seen out of the FDIC and Justice Department. I hope this legislation is quickly brought to the floor so we can halt this unconstitutional and unprecedented program and return order and reason to the financial institution examination processes.”
H.R. 766 passed the Financial Services Committee by a vote of 35-19.Read More
The horrific videos of Planned Parenthood that were recently released go beyond the abortion debate – simply, they are inhumane.
In these videos, executives of Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Medical Directors Council describe the dangerous abortion practices that medical professionals within their organizations use to obtain fetal body parts. Those are then sold piece by piece to third party companies who conduct fetal tissue research. In addition, the individuals in these videos give details pertaining to the price that is expected for the sale of specific fetal organs.
Not only is the sale of fetal body parts illegal, the PPFA is potentially using federal dollars to fund these operations. The Government Accountability Office reported that PPFA received $1.2 billion in funding from Medicaid over a three year period; funding that is outside of the Title X grants that Planned Parenthood receives.
No words can describe how I feel about these incredibly troubling videos. I have long championed measures to prevent abuse and completely cut off funding to Title X grants because I firmly believe that all human life is significant and precious and deserves to be treated with the highest dignity and respect. Yet after these shocking videos from the executives of Planned Parenthood, Congress needs to make a stronger stance in standing up for the unborn.
That is why, this week, I cosponsored the Protecting Life and Taxpayers Act. This legislation would permanently prohibit federal funding, mandatory and discretionary, for any entity that performs or provides funding to organizations that perform abortions. In addition, I joined colleagues urging House Committees of jurisdiction to promptly investigate the videos and the PPFA.
Please know I will do everything in my power to ensure that your taxpayer dollars that fund Planned Parenthood will be cut off. I will actively monitor the investigations and I will never waver in my support for standing up for the most vulnerable population in our nation.Read More
President Obama signed into law legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service in Cedar Hill as the “Sergeant First Class William B. Woods, Jr. Post Office.”
“Sergeant Woods fought for our nation’s freedom and dedicated his life to protecting our country,” Luetkemeyer said. “It is a true privilege to sponsor the naming of the Cedar Hill Post Office after Sergeant Woods to forever commemorate the ultimate sacrifice he made. I commend the Senate and the president for swiftly acting to see this legislation through to the end.”
Sergeant Woods was a graduate from Northwest High School in Cedar Hill. He first enlisted with the United States Marine Corps in 1996 as a rifleman and he later enlisted in the United States Army where he attended the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2003 and earned the Green Beret. While in the U.S. Army, SFC Woods was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group and deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2009, Sergeant Woods died in Germany from wounds sustained while conducting a mounted patrol in Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of the enactment of Dodd-Frank:
“Today marks the five-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank being signed into law. Throughout the past five years, the economy has been stagnant, not lifted; community banks have been stifled with regulations; and unelected bureaucracies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council have, despite their mission statements, raised serious doubt that any meaningful steps have been taken to protect taxpayers and consumers. Overall, Dodd-Frank has left Americans with fewer choices and higher costs. The House Financial Services Committee will continue to offer solutions to Dodd-Frank so American consumers can have restored faith in their financial system and businesses can focus on fueling our economic revival.”Read More
2440 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
As the Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Blaine is committed to representing the interests of the hard-working people by being a strong voice for them in Washington, D.C.
Blaine, 61, represents the 13 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri. Blaine, a native of St. Elizabeth, Mo., has lived in the district with his family for four generations and he operates a 160-acre farm there.
Along with his strong agriculture background, he was also a small businessman, having been in the banking and insurance business. Blaine has also served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri earlier in his career. He was elected in November, 2008, succeeding fellow Republican Kenny Hulshof.
From 1999 to 2005, Blaine was a Missouri State Representative and served as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee and was elected by his colleagues to serve as the House Republican Caucus Chairman. After leaving office, Blaine was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to serve as the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.
Building on his experience as a bank examiner, small businessman and community banker, Blaine serves as vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee where he also serves on the House Small Business Subcommittees on Health and Technology and Agriculture, Energy and Trade. Blaine also serves on the House Financial Services Committee where he also serves on the panel’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Committee and is vice chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee.
Blaine is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Eldon Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and a lifelong member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Blaine is a graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., where he earned a degree with distinction in political science and a minor in business administration.
Blaine and his wife, Jackie, have three children, Trevor, Brandy and Nikki, and four grandchildren.
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Horrific tragedy. Praying for the victims and their families. https://t.co/1Im1s9Zfd8
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Great tour & meeting with Gateway Extrusions in Union today. http://t.co/pbzfeex02o
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On September 2, 1945, World War II came to an end as Japan signed terms of surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Missouri native President Harry
#MO03 farmers out in the field during the long, hot summer days.
As I prepare to head back to Washington after a few uninterrupted weeks of visiting with folks throughout Missouri’s 3rd District, I find myself
Wonderful August day in Hermann this afternoon - 73 degrees and sunny.
Beautiful sunrise over #MO03