Jim Gerlach

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Gerlach statement on U.S. airstrikes in Iraq

2014/08/08

"I support the President's decision to use tactical airstrikes to protect U.S. forces and diplomatic personnel as well as innocent Iraqi civilians. Our thoughts are with all those serving our country in Iraq who are in harm's way. The brave men and women of our military made incredible sacrifices to free the Iraqi people from the grip of a brutal dictator and provide a chance for self-governance and respect for the rule of law and individual liberties to flourish. I am hopeful these air strikes will effectively blunt the grave threat posed by ISIS and other radical terror groups fighting to reverse the progress made in Iraq and plunging that country deeper into violence and chaos." Read More

Gerlach & Kaptur: U.S. must respond to growing Russian threat on Ukraine's doorstep

2014/08/08

Congressional Ukrainian Caucus Co-Chairs Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and on Friday said that the United States cannot allow Russia to continue its military buildup along the Ukrainian border.

Gerlach, who for months has been advocating for a firm response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Putin’s support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine that resulted in a Malaysian passenger jet being shot down, once again called on President Obama to authorize an immediate infusion of American military and security assistance to help Ukraine maintain its sovereignty as well as protect its military and its citizens.

NATO officials and media reports indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has amassed 20,000 troops, more than 1,000 missiles and other military equipment along the eastern border of Ukraine. The buildup has prompted Ukrainian officials to brace for a major assault on the city of Donetsk, according to media reports.

"Vladimir Putin didn’t send 20,000 Russian troops to Ukraine’s doorstep to practice their marching," Gerlach said. "By annexing Crimea this spring and continuing to foment violence in eastern Ukraine, Putin has wedged his foot in Ukraine’s front door. It is time to help Ukraine slam that door shut. That’s why I am imploring President Obama to recognize the growing threat the escalating Russian aggression poses to the security and stability of Ukraine and the entire region. It’s time for the U.S. to provide Ukraine with the defensive muscle crucial to protecting its borders, its military and its citizens."

Rep. Kaptur added:  “The world has witnessed the destabilization of Ukraine for months and this most recent military buildup along the Ukraine border further illustrates Mr. Putin’s true intentions. The United States has the capacity to provide excess defense supplies to non NATO nations like Ukraine that face overwhelming threats to their sovereignty. Russia is not an inert threat to the European continent and the world. She is a nuclear nation with vast capacity to destroy human life. Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and out supplied on every front. The Russian threat is serious and dangerous. One misstep could trigger a broader war whose edges no one can anticipate. Ukraine and her people have every right to sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-determination as they strive for greater liberty and a more democratic future.”

Gen. Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and a candidate who sought the Democratic nomination for President in 2008, said during an interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night that NATO should be unified in its response to the Russian threat.

Clark also backed sending material and support to the Ukraine military needs to match Russia's military might.

"They need night-vision goggles; they need intelligence (capabilities); they need flak jackets," Clark said. "It's time to get that stuff to them.”

Gerlach and his colleagues in the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus unveiled bipartisan legislation last month to provide a clear and specific process for sending direct, defensive military and security assistance to the Government of Ukraine as it seeks to strengthen its democracy and prevent separatist violence and aggression within its borders.

H.R. 5190, the proposed Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014, would reinforce the strong relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine and take an important step toward helping Ukraine neutralize the military-support advantage that separatist rebels are using to target civilian and military aircraft in eastern Ukraine and foster violence and instability across that country.

This legislation would authorize the President to work with the Government of Ukraine to assess that country’s military, intelligence, and security needs and provide adequate and necessary defensive assistance to protect Ukrainian democracy and sovereignty.

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Gerlach supports bill to get veterans the medical care they've earned

2014/07/30

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) voted in favor of a bipartisan agreement on Wednesday that would provide additional funding to ensure veterans' access to timely medical care and increase accountability within the VA system.

The House voted 420-5 to approve H.R. 3230, the proposed Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the measure later this week and send it to the President’s desk.

"I supported this legislation because it represents a critical step in reducing the bureaucracy that has left far too many of our veterans waiting far too long for care," Gerlach said. "I'm hopeful the overdue reforms in this legislation will help everyone at the VA refocus on their mission to provide the very best care every day to those who have bravely served our country. By enacting this legislation, Congress is making a serious commitment to provide veterans with greater control over health-care decisions. We're also working to provide the VA with the resources to meet the growing demand for medical and mental health services."

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act would:

  • Require VA to offer an authorization to receive non-VA care to any veteran who is enrolled in the VA health care system as of August 1, 2014, or who is a newly discharged combat veteran if such veteran is unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days (or a future published goal established by VA) or resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility, with certain exceptions.

  • Require VA to provide a Veterans Choice Card to eligible veterans to facilitate care provided by non-VA providers.

  • Provide $10 billion for the newly-established “Veterans Choice Fund” to cover the costs of this increased access to non-VA care. Choice program authority would end when funds are exhausted or three years after enactment, whichever occurs first.

  • Require an independent assessment of VA medical care and establish a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access to care throughout the VA health care system.

  • Extend the ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) pilot program for two years.

  • Extend for three years a pilot program to provide rehabilitation, quality of life, and community integration services to veterans with complex-mild to severe traumatic brain injury.

  • Improve the delivery of care to veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma as well as care for Native Hawaiian and Native American veterans.

  • Provide $5 billion to VA to increase access to care through the hiring of physicians and other medical staff and by improving VA’s physical infrastructure.

  • Authorize 27 major medical facility leases in 18 states and Puerto Rico.

  • Authorize VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and Title 38 SES equivalent employees for poor performance or misconduct.

  • Provide an expedited and limited appeal process for employees disciplined under this authority. Appeals would go to a Merit Systems Protection Board administrative judge, who would have 21 days to decide on the appeal. If a decision is not reached within that 21-day period, then VA’s decision to remove or demote the executive is final.

  • Prohibit SES employees from receiving pay, bonuses and benefits during the appeal process.

  • Reduce funding for bonuses available to VA employees by $40 million each year through Fiscal Year 2024.

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Gerlach introduces bipartisan plan for providing security and military assistance to Ukraine

2014/07/24

Congressional Ukrainian Caucus co-Chairs U.S. Reps. Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Sander Levin (D-MI) on Thursday introduced legislation to provide a clear and specific process to provide direct military and security assistance to the Government of Ukraine as it seeks to strengthen its democracy and prevent separatist violence and aggression within its borders.

H.R. 5190, the proposed Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014, would reinforce the strong relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine and take an important step toward helping Ukraine neutralize the military-support advantage that separatist rebels are using to target civilian and military aircraft in eastern Ukraine and foster violence and instability across that country.  This legislation would authorize the President to work with the Government of Ukraine to assess that country’s military, intelligence, and security needs and provide adequate and necessary assistance to protect Ukrainian democracy and sovereignty.

“The Ukrainian people have made clear their desire to build a stronger democratic self-government and establish closer ties to the European Union and the west,” Gerlach said.  “Unfortunately, as recent events have demonstrated, the Russian Federation will not honor Ukraine’s sovereignty and will continue to meddle within Ukraine’s border until it has broken the spirit of the Ukrainian people.  The evidence released by U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence authorities shows without a doubt that rebel separatists and hired thugs, armed with superior Russian technology and weapons, continue to foment havoc and instability. The bipartisan legislation we introduced today is another important step towards reaffirming the United States’ commitment to helping our Ukrainian allies develop as a fully democratic nation.”   
 
Rep. Levin added: “With the overwhelming evidence that Russia is supplying the separatists with weapons, including the anti-aircraft missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, we want to make it clear that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. We will help the Ukrainian people defend themselves from Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine.”

Rep. Kaptur commented: “I am proud to stand united with my caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Gerlach and Sander Levin today as we introduce the “Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014”. While the tragic crashing of MH17 certainly has brought the necessary condemnation of the world community, Ukraine and her people have been suffering for months at the hands of Russian-backed separatists and Russian aggressors. It is time for the United States to provide reasonable security assistance to Ukraine. The bill we introduced today reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Ukraine and her people. Our bill reiterates the President’s authority to provide such assistance and advocates for the delivery of security and intelligence assistance to Ukraine. Our bill also importantly calls to designate Ukraine as a Major Non-Nato Ally, in order to temporarily provide vital resources and the security NATO offers to member states. The world has witnessed the destabilization of Ukraine for months and this most recent atrocity further illustrates Mr. Putin’s blatant refusal to use his influence to quell the instability and violence. The United States continues to stand with Ukraine and her people, who have every right to sovereignty, territorial integrity, and self-determination as they strive for greater liberty and a more democratic future.”

Leaders from Ukrainian community organizations also stood with the Caucus during Thursday’s press conference in Washington, D.C. to announce introduction of the legislation.

Michael Sawkiw, Director of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, added:  “The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of over one million Americans of Ukrainian descent, is pleased to support Rep. Gerlach’s timely introduction of the “Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014,” which would provide needed security benefits to the country of Ukraine as it struggles to fend off Russian aggression.  In this period of mourning and sorrow, the UCCA expresses its deepest condolences to the families and love ones of the innocent victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Given the severity of the situation, and the numerous crimes of the Russian-sponsored terrorists in Eastern Ukraine, the UCCA is grateful for the “Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014” and calls upon the United States to provide Ukraine with Major non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status and the necessary military assistance needed to end this crisis and bring peace back to the region.  Furthermore, the UCCA urges the United States to impose harsher sectoral sanctions on Russia, and for President Obama, as leader of the democratic free world, to utilize all of his efforts to persuade the leadership of Europe to match U.S. resolve.”

Lada Pastushak, of the U.S./Ukraine Business Council,
noted: “The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council strongly supports this bi-partisan bill, introduced by Representatives Jim Gerlach, Marcy Kaptur and Sander Levin, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. This legislation will enable our Government to streamline US efforts in assisting the people of Ukraine during these challenging times as they fight for the sovereignty and integrity of their homeland, democracy and the rule of law. Furthermore, it will have a significant positive impact on a desired prompt resolution of the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, thus preventing further loss of lives and destruction, and leading to stabilization of Ukraine and Europe. Implementation of this bill will clearly demonstrate that the US is serious about its support of Ukraine, global peace and security, bona fide democratic values, strong transatlantic partnership, and mutually beneficial economic growth and business development.”  

Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair of the Ukrainian Federation of America, added:  “The people of Ukraine have shed their blood to ensure that attempts to reintegrate Ukraine into a greater Russia will be resisted at all costs. The people want to live in a society governed by the principles of democracy and the Rule of Law and see their future as a part of the European Union.  We believe that a free and independent Ukraine is vital to the security and economic welfare of the U.S. and Europe and are pleased to endorse this legislation and are committed to supporting its passage in any way we can.”

While the U.S. has already provided Ukraine with economic and diplomatic assistance, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Government of Ukraine needs direct security assistance to be able to defend its sovereignty against Russian subversion.The bipartisan legislation is supported by the Ukrainian Federation of America, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, and the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.

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Gerlach calls for U.S. to provide direct military aid to Ukraine

2014/07/18

Congressional Ukrainian Caucus Co-Chairman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) urged President Obama on Friday to provide military aid, equipment and weaponry to Ukraine to stop pro-Russian separatists from continuing their violent attempt to rip apart the country and inflict massive and indiscriminate casualties on Ukrainian military personnel, civilians and innocent victims.

Gerlach issued the following statement outlining the steps President Obama should be taking in the wake of Thursday's horrific downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and the loss of 300 innocent lives:

"The President's response today to this reckless act of violence was tepid, and it is clear to anyone paying attention that the White House's attempt to hit the reset button with Russia has failed miserably. Thursday was a wake-up call that pro-Russian rebels have the firepower to shoot planes from the sky and pose a grave threat to the security and stability of Ukraine and the region. The government of Ukraine has every right to defend its sovereignty and its citizens. President Obama must act to ensure Ukraine and its forces have the military assets necessary to eliminate the threat posed by pro-Russian separatists and regain control over the safety of Ukrainian air space.

The downing of the passenger jet on Thursday also clearly demonstrated that the pro-Russian separatists are receiving significant military aid from Russia. Russia's intent is clear. They are attempting to destabilize a neighboring, sovereign country and expand Russian influence in Ukraine and beyond. By providing direct military aid, the U.S. will help Ukraine neutralize Russia's influence and eliminate the military-support advantage pro-Russian forces are now using to take aim at civilian and military aircraft in eastern Ukraine. If the U.S. fails to contain the enormous threat within Ukraine, the risk for violence, bloodshed and chaos expanding beyond Ukraine grows.”

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Gerlach measure to help preserve farmland, open space passes House, heads to U.S. Senate

2014/07/17

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation with a provision authored by Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) that would make permanent a federal tax incentive used to save thousands of acres of farmland and open space throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

The House voted 277-130 to pass H.R. 4179, the proposed America Gives More Act. Section 4 of that bill calls for permanently extending the federal Conservation Easement Tax Incentive, which expired at the end of 2013. The way the incentive works is that landowners who place a conservation easement on their property are permitted to deduct a percentage of the value of the land donated from their federal income taxes.

The language in the bill passed Thursday is identical to legislation Gerlach introduced last year with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA). The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.                             
 
WATCH GERLACH'S REMARKS ON THE HOUSE FLOOR IN SUPPORT OF THE LEGISLATION HERE. 
   
                              
"Conservation easements provide property owners with another choice when looking for an alternative to selling their or struggling to pay a bigger tax bill to hold on to what is likely their most valuable family asset," Gerlach said. "This vote shows we are committed to giving farmers and families at all income levels in the 6th District and across our country the freedom, opportunity, and certainty they deserve when making critical choices about the use and future of their land."

Local organizations, including the Berks County Conservancy, Brandywine Conservancy, French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, and Natural Lands Trust, have partnered with private landowners utilizing conservation easements to protect thousands of acres of open space in the Oley Hills area of Berks County, the Great Marsh in East Nantmeal Township Chester County, and other natural treasures in the 6th District.

Leaders from those organizations applauded Thursday's vote.

"We are thrilled that, thanks to Representative Gerlach's unwavering leadership, the House of Representatives has passed the Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Act," said Molly Morrison, President of Natural Lands Trust, the regional land conservation organization." When landowners choose to conserve their land by donating a conservation easement, they are making a remarkable gift - one that will benefit generations to come. We are grateful to the House for recognizing that empowering more landowners to make that choice is a smart way to protect our most important natural and agricultural resources."

Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the Brandywine Conservancy, added:
“We are deeply gratified for Congressman Gerlach’s leadership and the tremendous support we have garnered in the House on this critical issue. Permanently extending the tax incentive for conservation easements will have a significant impact in protecting our drinking water supplies, farmland, and natural resources – both regionally and nationally."

Kim Murphy, president of the Berks Conservancy, noted: “Landowners who contribute conservation easements are ensuring that generations of citizens will enjoy the conservation benefits of their property in perpetuity. This deduction is a small incentive to assist them with their vision, and our collective future. The Berks Conservancy is grateful to Congressman Gerlach for his leadership on this important issue."

A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows property owners to continue to own and use their land and pass it on to future generations.

In addition to making the incentive permanent, Gerlach’s legislation would create an enhanced incentive for conservation easements.

The enhanced incentive helps landowners of modest means choose conservation by:

•Raising the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50%
•Allowing qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their AGI
•Increasing the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years
 
According to the Land Trust Alliance, without the enhanced easement incentive, a landowner earning $50,000 a year who donated a $1 million conservation easement could take a $15,000 deduction for the year of the donation and for an additional 5 years – a total of $90,000 in tax deductions.

The enhanced easement deduction allows that landowner to deduct $25,000 for the year of the donation and then for an additional 15 years, according to the Land Trust Alliance. That’s $400,000 in deductions. If the landowner qualifies as a farmer or rancher, they can zero out their taxes. In that case, they could take a maximum of $800,000 in deductions for their million dollar gift. Read more about the enhanced incentive here.                      
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Gerlach statement on passenger jet shot down over Ukraine

2014/07/17

Congressional Ukrainian Caucus Co-Chairman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) released this statement Thursday night after receiving a briefing from U.S. Department of State personnel about the circumstances surrounding a downed Malaysian Airlines passenger jet shot out of the sky in Ukraine:

"I want to first express my sincere condolences to the families of the 295 passengers and crews who lost their lives as a result of this reckless and reprehensible act. My office has been monitoring the situation and it is my sincere hope that those responsible for shooting this passenger jet out of the sky will be immediately held accountable and face severe consequences.

Based on the information that has been gathered so far by U.S. intelligence and diplomatic sources, there is clear evidence connecting the downing of the jet to Russian separatists who have been fomenting violence and discord in eastern Ukraine for months. It has been apparent over these last few months that Russia has encouraged and emboldened the separatists in an coordinated campaign to undermine the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia President Vladimir Putin has allowed instability in eastern Ukraine to fester and the cozy relationship between the separatists on the ground and the Kremlin leave little doubt that Russia bears a great deal of responsibility for the heinous act that claimed 295 lives today in the sky over Donetsk.

The U.S. and international response must be swift and firm. Economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russian government officials and those responsible for the unrest in Ukraine must be escalated immediately. The proposed Russian natural gas pipeline being considered by the European Union should immediately be scrapped. I also would urge the U.S. and the European Union to renew discussions with Poland and the Czech Republic about deploying anti-missile defense systems in those countries to deter and contain Russian hegemony. Finally, it's time for the international community to finally tell Russian President Putin that enough is enough. Putin's brazen actions in Ukraine, Georgia and Iran reveal him to be a maniacal pariah committed to international lawlessness and bloodshed in hopes of rebuilding and expanding the Russian empire. Putin must be shunned economically and diplomatically so that he gets the message that his actions will not stand."

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Gerlach says hearing needed on lost IRS e-mails

2014/06/17

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) on Tuesday called on the House Ways and Means Committee to convene a hearing on the astonishing claim by the Internal Revenue Service that the tax enforcement agency somehow lost more than two years worth of e-mails between former IRS official Lois Lerner and other executive branch agencies and outside groups.

The Ways and Means Committee has been working for more than a year to obtain details and key documents related to an admission by the IRS that conservative groups faced harsher scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status. Before retiring last year, Lois Lerner led the IRS department that systematically singled out organizations affiliated with the Tea Party and conservative groups.

Last week, the IRS notified Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp that a computer crash had wiped out all e-mails from January 2009 through April 2011 between Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, and Congressional Democrats.

Gerlach, who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, said the IRS’ claim that it lost Lerner's e-mails warrants a hearing and an immediate forensic audit by the IRS Inspector General to determine the circumstances surrounding the mysterious disappearance of correspondence between Lerner and others at the height of the conservative targeting period.

"If IRS leaders are going to give our Committee an excuse for not turning over records that is on par with 'my dog ate my homework,' then subpoenas need to be issued to the IRS technology team so they can explain what happened under oath," Gerlach said. "Taxpayers who have dealt with IRS auditors know the agency has a zero-tolerance policy for sloppy record keeping and wouldn’t accept it as an excuse for failing to comply with IRS demands.  Now, IRS leaders and the Obama Administration just shrug their shoulders and claim critical evidence about who orchestrated the scheme to target conservative groups simply vanished. That’s just unacceptable. And it’s just another example of how this Administration goes to great lengths to keep the public in the dark and thwart any attempt by Congress to exercise reasonable oversight of the executive branch.”

The House voted in April to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, delivering a statement denying any wrongdoing in the targeting scandal and then refusing to answer any questions under oath.

Attempts to obtain e-mails and other documents related to the terrorist attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 have been met with fierce resistance from the Obama Administration as well, Gerlach noted.

In fact, it took a court order 18 months after the Benghazi killings to obtain 41 documents related to the attack, including an e-mail from senior White House adviser Ben Rhodes discussing how to divert blame away from President Obama and mislead Americans by claiming an Internet video sparked the violence.

Prior to Benghazi and the IRS scandal, the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in June 2012 for refusing to comply with multiple subpoenas requesting documents related to a covert Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Department gun-running operation in Mexico. 

As part of the botched sting known as “Operation Fast & Furious,” federal law enforcement officials supplied weapons to Mexican drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the murder of two U.S. Border Patrol agents. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been trying for more than three years to get the answers the victims’ families and the public deserve.

A U.S. District Court ruling is still pending on whether Attorney General Holder can legally withhold documents related to his false claim under oath in February 2011 that the Justice Department did not allow guns to cross the border into Mexico.

“This Administration has shown time and time again utter disdain for Congressional oversight and has fallen miles short of the President’s promise of having the most transparent White House in history,” Gerlach said.

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Gerlach announces deadline for Service Academy applications

2014/06/12

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) announced Thursday that qualified high school students in the 6th District who want to be considered for a nomination to one of our country's Service Academies have until August 11th to submit an application packet to his office.

You must be a resident of the district, which includes parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties, to be considered for a nomination by Congressman Gerlach.

In addition, all Service Academy candidates must:

  • Be an American citizen
  • Be at least 17 years old and not yet 23 years old on July 1 of the year you would enter an academy
  • Not be married or pregnant
  • Have no legal obligation to support children or other dependents

By law, Congressman Gerlach has a maximum of five vacancies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point and U.S. Naval Academy. A maximum of 10 candidates can be selected for nomination per vacancy. The Merchant Marine Academy also has vacancies. At this Academy, a maximum of 10 candidates may be selected for nomination per year.

For more information about the Service Academy nomination process, please contact Ed Schmid in the Exton Office at 610.594.1415 or visit www.gerlach.house.gov

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Gerlach statement on VA Secretary Shinseki's resignation

2014/05/30

Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued this statement on Friday following the resignation of General Eric Shinseki as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

"General Shinseki clearly understands the importance of having leaders who are accountable, and I believe he made the appropriate decision to resign. We are grateful for his tremendous valor while serving in Vietnam and thank him for his dedicated career of service to our country. While a change in personnel at the VA certainly is necessary given the inexcusable delays in providing medical care to our veterans and deceptive manipulation of records, there also must be a fundamental change in the culture at the VA. That change can occur only if the President demonstrates leadership and insists that everyone at the VA be accountable to our veterans, their families and taxpayers.

I know that the vast majority of VA employees are dedicated to serving veterans and their families and work hard every day to do just that. But without serious reforms throughout the VA system, the exemplary efforts of the majority will be overshadowed by those who game the system and put their self-interests ahead of the interests of our veterans.  In the House, my colleagues and I already have acted on several fronts to ensure that our veterans have access to the high-quality medical care they've earned and to give the VA Secretary the flexibility all managers need to fire those who are not doing their job before they destroy the morale of competent co-workers and cause harm to our veterans. I am hopeful the leaders of the U.S. Senate and the President will join with us in these efforts."

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Contact Information

2442 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4315
Fax 202-225-8440
gerlach.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Ways and Means

A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Jim Gerlach grew up in Ellwood City – a town about an hour north of Pittsburgh. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College and a Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Chester Springs, Chester County with his wife, Karen, and they have three children and three step-children. 

Jim has served the citizens of Southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. His distinguished career began in 1990 with the first of two terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which was followed by two terms in the Pennsylvania Senate.

Jim is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing portions of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties. In December 2010, he earned a spot on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. Jim serves on the Ways and Means Subcommittees on Health and Select Revenue.

One of his biggest legislative accomplishments was creating a much-needed veterans cemetery here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The bill Jim authored was signed into law by the President on Veterans Day in 2003, and the cemetery opened in Bucks County in 2009.

National publications, including National Journal and Roll Call, have recognized Jim’s strong record as an independent voice for his constituents. And no member of Congress has had to fight closer contests each election cycle. The 6th District was ranked as the most competitive district in the nation between 2002 and 2008, according to a University of Minnesota survey.

 


Serving With

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson

PENNSYLVANIA's 5th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

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