WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee considered an ill-conceived amendment to include women in the selective service for the purposes of a military draft. The amendment passed by a vote of 32-30, with just five Republicans.
“The selective service was created as a last resort for combat troops in a time of war. This amendment, however, shoves women to the front lines to satisfy a political agenda without regard to military necessity. This is the first step in demanding that women fight in combat and it’s political correctness that is deadly. Americans are tired of liberals playing with our military as a cultural experiment they learned in some college class, and it won't stop until we say 'no more.'
"Women have faithfully and honorably served in the U.S. Military voluntarily, and I fully support our young women volunteering for positions for which they are qualified. I do not, however, intend to force our daughters to register, allowing them to be drafted into combat one day.
“I will be working with my colleagues to make sure that this provision does not make it into law.”
This week I will be offering an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent scarce defense dollars from being squandered on President Obama’s executive orders regarding climate change.
These executive orders require the Department of Defense (DOD) to incorporate a host of climate change bureaucracies into its acquisition programs, logistics planning, and military plans and operations. The military is also required to help state and local governments “go green.”These activities are simply not the mission of the U.S. military. They harm readiness rather than contribute to the lethality of our armed forces. The military’s mission is to train for and fight our nation’s wars, not assist state and local governments with their carbon emissions levels.
For the past two years, the House Armed Services Committee has undertaken acquisition reform to eliminate paperwork and cut through the bureaucracy that inhibits our military’s ability to quickly obtain effective capabilities at a reasonable cost. Acquiring weapons systems is slow and burdensome enough; these non-defense mandates only undermine ongoing reform efforts.
Regarding the Department of Defense’s energy policy—decisions by installation commanders and DOD personnel need to be driven by requirements for actual cost-effectiveness and readiness, not arbitrary and inflexible green energy quotas and CO2 benchmarks.
There were at least 680 of such wasteful green energy projects as of 2013, most of which have not met the efficiencies or cost-effectiveness promised. Additionally, engineers and resources committed to green energy are diverting focus from deficiencies in our military’s critical infrastructure.
Under these mandates, the Army and Navy have been required to install solar arrays at various facilities. At Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy spent $21 million dollars to install a 10-acre solar array—which will supply a grand total of two percent of the base’s electricity. According to the Inspector General’s office, this project will save enough money to pay for itself in just 447 years. Solar panels, however, only last about 25 years.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after the Military Personnel Subcommittee, under the House Armed Services Committee, rejected the President’s proposed military cuts, and even reversed some of the cuts approved last year by increasing active-duty Army soldiers by 5,000.
“Every year for the past three years, the President has made cuts to our Army, for a total troop reduction of 570,000 to 475,000 soldiers. I have led the House Louisiana delegation in coordinating efforts to make sure these cuts would not hurt Fort Polk by writing to the Army, meeting with senior Army leadership and adding several amendments to the Defense Authorization Act. These amendments included putting a hold on Army efforts to downsize Bayne Jones Hospital at Fort Polk, and a requirement that the Secretary of Defense justify these harmful reductions to our military.
“Last year I offered an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that would have prevented the President from cutting any more active-duty Army soldiers, but it was not included in the final bill, and the cuts were approved. This year's bill reverses course by increasing active-duty Army by 5,000 soldiers. I am pleased to see that House Armed Services Committee leadership has since recognized that the size of our Army is directly tied to how ready our troops are to go to into battle and that the President's cuts simply cannot be justified given the threats around the globe."Read More
We’ve seen this movie before: reckless government policies and irresponsible investments by big business bankers leading to bailout schemes before Congress.
We went through this less than a decade ago with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and we experienced it again when billions of taxpayers’ dollars were used to bailout Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and scores of other investment banks – many of which didn’t even want or need the bailout money!
Some members of Congress believe this was, and still is, a good idea. I disagree. Now, the next generation of government bailouts is about to come before Congress. I am determined to stop it in its tracks.
Puerto Rico is on the verge of defaulting on its bonds because of mismanagement and corruption. Puerto Rico is in such bad shape that, as Reuters reported, its government has commandeered funds intended to pay bond-holders and instead used them to continue funding pensions. It’s a mess and now Puerto Rico is trying to hold us hostage for their mistakes. Two weeks ago, Puerto Rican lawmakers authorized its governor to stop payments on $72 billion in debt. Until they got word that Congress might bail them out, they had been working with their creditors on a voluntary deal. Now that they think Congress will save them, they are giving the stiff arm, refusing to pay anyone back. Make no mistake about it, this is government-sponsored extortion intended to force our hand.
We must draw a line in the sand against this now. The federal government is to let markets work, not be the ‘get out of jail free’ card for irresponsibility and corruption. And, just as important, we must lay a marker down for future requests that we all know will be coming – not from a commonwealth but from states likes California and Illinois that are on the path to bankruptcy themselves.
Like Puerto Rico, many states have legally guaranteed the payment of “full faith-and-credit” debt. So what happens when states simply cannot make a payment? Puerto Rico is the first test-case of this looming disaster. And, this test is coming faster than you think.
Just last week, at a meeting for members, a committee chair asked rank-and-file members to remain silent, refrain from asking for a recorded vote, or leave the room when the time came for a vote regarding the upcoming Puerto Rico debt restructuring bill. In all my time in Congress, no one has ever asked me to do something quite like this. I was angry. To be asked to walk away—to be told to miss a vote—is a request that flies in the face of every member’s conscience. I, along with some other members, strongly objected to this.
The establishment folks wanted us to be silent on this vote; however, I did not stay silent. Because I stood up against this government cronyism, the bailout is obtaining much needed scrutiny from many different groups and is being delayed.
Republicans, and specifically the Republican Congressional Leadership, should join me in opposing this bailout. We cannot set the precedent of allowing contracts and debt obligations to become meaningless. The way we handle this situation will have lasting implications for how we deal with the looming debt crisis facing individual states.
Today, Louisianans are suffering because of a very fragile economy. Families are having to cut their household budgets, businesses are laying off employees, and taxes are rising. It just isn’t right to put you at risk to paper over the mismanagement of States or Territories. Puerto Rico faces some tough medicine, but they have to be willing to change.
You can be assured that I will continue to be a strong voice for Louisiana and an effective leader against irresponsible bailout schemes.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on whether President Obama overstepped his executive power by granting 4 million illegal immigrants temporary status and work permits.
“It is Congress, not the President, that is responsible for creating our nation’s immigration policy. By sidestepping Congress on this and all other issues, he is effectively stating that the Constitution no longer matters.
“America has always been a nation of immigrants, but the new influx of individuals who come here illegally put stress on our economy by overwhelming our education, healthcare, and social services systems. The states most affected by illegal immigration have every right to speak up about this burden. And Congress retains the right to address it. My hope is that the Supreme Court Justices side with the Constitution, Congress and the American people by deciding that the President overstepped his power.”Read More
Puerto Rico is facing a financial mess. Much of it has been caused by poor governance on the island, but also exacerbated by the heavy hand of the United States government.
No one said it better than Pedro Perluisi, the Democratic Delegate from Puerto Rico to the U.S. House of Representatives, when he spoke at a hearing on the Puerto Rico bankruptcy bill. He said, “Part of this over-spending is definitely the result of mismanagement. I admit it. It’s embarrassing.”
But then he went on to blame Obamacare not spending enough money on Medicaid. Prior to Obamacare, he said that Puerto Rico received $350 million per year. After Obamacare, they are receiving $1.2 billion per year, but conditions are worse. And he seems to think it is because the federal government needs to spend more money.
This mentality has been plaguing states and municipalities for decades, including cities like Detroit and states like Illinois, New York and California. These states would like nothing more than to be absolved of the bad decisions and false promises they have been making. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) provides a template for how these states can escape the moment of truth.
The governor of Arizona recognized this, writing to Congressional leadership:
“Significantly, the proposed policy measures create a moral hazard for states and territories. It disincentivizes states from guarding against the risks and consequences of profligate spending.”
This governor is exactly right. Bailouts, bankruptcy, and mandatory debt restructuring make it harder to stop spending, because why should you when someone else will be responsible for cleaning up the mess?
The fact is we have a glimpse at the future of the United States if we cannot take a hard look at our own spending and make difficult choices.
The fact is we have a glimpse at the future of the United States if we cannot take a hard look at our own spending and make difficult choices. Mandatory and entitlement spending is now two-thirds of our budget. In ten years, it will be nearly four-fifths. If we don’t change course soon, the bond markets will teach us the same hard lesson.
Earlier this week, I was asked to allow the Puerto Rico bankruptcy bill to pass the Committee on a voice vote. I strongly objected along with some other members. This is the kind of “go along” politics Americans and I are tired of. Anytime we don’t have full transparency and a full amendment process, we have a bad outcome.
If a Puerto Rico bankruptcy bill comes before the committee as planned, I will insist on a recorded vote and I will do my best to defeat it.
This piece was originally posted on the Daily Signal that you can read here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement in response to a meeting held last night in the Natural Resources Committee where leadership asked rank-and-file members to remain silent, refrain from asking for a recorded vote, or leave the room when the time came for a vote regarding the upcoming Puerto Rico debt restructuring bill.
"In all my time in Congress, no one has ever asked me to do something quite like this, until last night. I was angry. To be asked to walk away—to be told to miss a vote—is a request that flies in the face of every member’s conscience. Leadership had no business making such a request.
“I thought perhaps I was mistaken about what was really being asked of me. But when it was clear they were seriously asking members of the Committee to stand aside so the bill could pass without amendment or vote, I strongly objected along with some other members. This is the kind of “go along” politics Americans and I are tired of. Anytime we don’t have full transparency we have a bad outcome.
“If the bill comes before the Committee as planned, I will insist on a recorded vote and I will do my best to defeat any bailout this Committee puts before us.”Read More
Last year Americans spent more of their hard-earned money paying taxes than on food, clothing and household expenses combined. Unfortunately, we can expect the same for 2016 thanks to our confusing, and expensive tax code. Americans spend billions of dollars and countless hours each year to comply with the law - and that’s on top of paying any taxes already due.
Last year, according to the Tax Foundation, hard-working Americans arrived at “Tax Freedom Day” on April 24. That’s the day when, on average, Americans will have earned enough money to pay the family tax bill for the year. We had to work past tax day, April 15, just to pay our portion of taxes for the year. And over the last six years of the Obama Administration alone, Louisiana has been hit with 20 new federal tax hikes, decreasing paychecks even more.
Meanwhile, Louisianans are about to get crushed by the largest tax increase in the state’s history. The Louisiana Legislature recently passed a slew of new tax increases, including a 25 percent sales tax increase, an internet sales tax, an Airbnb Rental tax, a rental car tax hike, a liquor, wine and beer tax increase and a cigarette tax – with possibly more on the way. Louisiana now has the largest state and local sales tax in the nation.
It’s time for tax simplification and getting the IRS out of our lives. There are several ideas percolating in Congress to reform the federal tax code, including the flat tax. Any idea, however, should follow the key principles of simplifying the tax system and providing taxpayers with increased transparency. Everyone should know upfront what he or she can expect to pay. Fairer and flatter rates will also help families and businesses earn, save, and invest.
On March 18, 2015, I introduced H.R. 1397, the Seniors’ Tax Simplification Act with
Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) to allow a new simplified tax form for seniors. Under current law, seniors who receive Social Security benefits are prevented from filing a 1040EZ form and in many cases are forced to find professional help at great expense. My bill would create one simple form, the 1040SR, for individuals receiving pension benefits and Social Security income.
I also voted in favor of the Death Tax Repeal Act to eliminate the estate tax so families are no longer forced to sell or subdivide family land to pay the IRS, and the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act to permanently allow taxpayers to deduct state and local sales taxes from federal taxable income in place of state and local income taxes.
Meanwhile, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, sending American workers, jobs and tax dollars overseas. Any tax code rewrite would also need to reduce this rate and keep more American jobs home.
Tax reform is not an easy task. But it is one of the best ways to reinvigorate the economy. The American people deserve a simple and fair tax code.
This article originally appeared in the Times Pic and can be found here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after introducing H.R. 4828, the Conscience Protection Act, which affords doctors, nurses, hospitals, and all health care providers the ability to choose not to provide abortions as part of their health care practice.
“As a family practice physician for over 30 years, I know for a fact that doctors and nurses are dedicated medical professionals uniquely qualified to assess the health and wellness needs of their patients. There is no room in the clinic for government discrimination, for Big Brother to force a health care provider to participate, in any way, in an abortion. My legislation offers common sense conscience protections for the front line of the medical profession. From clinician to hospital, from an HMO to insurance coverage, and from a student health plan to a physician in training, H.R. 4828 protects against forced participation in abortions and provides recourse for victims facing discrimination."
Rep. Hartzler (R-MO), an original co-sponsor of H.R. 4828 added, "Forcing a health care provider, church, private employer, or charity to violate their conscience is simply wrong. Caring professionals such as nurses and doctors should not be forced to perform abortions; nor should states, like California, force individuals to buy or provide insurance policies that pay for abortions. Our bill reinforces conscience protections already provided and offers a legal right of action to those who have been harmed by discriminatory or unlawful mandates. I am proud to co-sponsor this measure to stand up for those courageously standing by their convictions, to protect life, and to preserve the religious freedoms afforded to all of us."
Background: There is an urgent need to pass the Conscience Protection Act. Longstanding, bipartisan, annual federal appropriations language, known as the Hyde/Weldon amendment, offers limited protections against discrimination for health care providers which do not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions. Despite the Hyde/Weldon amendment, nurses have been forced to participate in gruesome dismemberment abortions and/or instructed that performing an abortion is mandatory for training or employment purposes. Additionally, beginning in August 2014 the California Department for Managed Health Care (DMHC) issued a directive requiring that all insurance plans under the State’s authority immediately cover abortions. This means that California churches, religious charities, employers and individuals are forced to purchase abortion coverage via their health plans. In a second brazen move, the Golden State is now requiring that pregnancy care centers post signs instructing clients where they can obtain an abortion. Despite the fact that California’s actions violate the Hyde/Weldon pro-life policy, the current Administration has failed to resolve the matter. The Conscience Protection Act would protect pro-life health care providers from forced complicity in an abortion and would also provide a private right of action, enabling victims of governmental discrimination to seek redress in court.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that individuals who live or own a business in over one-third of Louisiana’s parishes may qualify for tax relief.
“Many people in Louisiana have lost papers critical to filing their taxes and are worried about meeting the April 18 deadline. The IRS has recently announced that taxpayers that live or own a business within certain parishes automatically qualify for a tax filing extension. Deadlines that fell on or after March 8 have been postponed to July 15, 2016. And those that suffered damage but live outside the area may call the IRS hotline to request an extension.”
As of today, the following parishes qualify: Allen; Ascension; Beauregard; Bienville; Bossier; Caddo; Calcasieu; Caldwell; Claiborne; De Soto; Grant; La Salle; Livingston; Madison; Morehouse; Natchitoches; Ouachita; Richland; St. Tammany; Tangipahoa; Union; Vernon; Washington; Webster; West Carroll; Winn.
For those that live outside the specified parishes but still require an extension, please call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227. The full IRS press release can be viewed here. If you have further questions or need assistance, please call Rep. Fleming’s Shreveport office at 318-798-2254.
416 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
John Fleming grew up in a working class family in Mississippi. After his father suddenly died, John, as a teenager, took on added responsibility for his disabled mother and his younger siblings. He worked his way through college and attended medical school on a Navy scholarship. John served six years in the Navy as a Medical Officer
After his time in the U.S. Navy, John and his wife of 34 years, Cindy, settled in Minden, Louisiana. With a young family and no money in the bank, he started a medical practice that continues to serve the community today. He also began to build from scratch a group of non-medical small businesses that today provide hundreds of jobs in the region.
John was first elected to Congress in 2008, to represent Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District. The district covers most of western Louisiana, stretching from Caddo and Bossier parishes east to Union, and south to Beauregard, and then east again to include parts of St. Landry parish. The district has abundant assets, including the agriculture, defense, and energy industries.
Fleming serves on two House committees – Armed Services – from which he focuses on the missions of Barksdale Air Force Base and Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center, and Natural Resources – from which he seeks to support the maximization of the Haynesville and Tuscaloosa Marine Shales, two sources of energy which have created tens of thousands of jobs for 4th District families.
John is focused on preserving the same freedoms that gave him the opportunity, as a young man from a working class family, to work for the American dream. He believes that the people he represents are best served when they are able to create their own success in an environment that embraces individual liberty and is not hampered by high taxes or unnecessary regulations. When government is efficient and accountable, the economy can grow and good jobs will be created.
Dr. Fleming was the Louisiana Family Doctor of the Year in 2007. He has worked in Congress for sensible health care reforms, and authored legislation urging all Members of Congress to participate in the same health care system that they create for the American people. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus, a group that includes 14 physicians who work to develop patient-centered health care reforms. Dr. Fleming has also championed conscience protections for medical personnel who choose to not participate in abortion practices.
John Fleming’s primary goals are to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to be a servant leader to the people he represents. He’s been named a “Defender of Liberty” by the American Conservative Union, a “Congressional Sentinel” by Heritage Action for America, and a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business.
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Louisiana disaster survivors in 36 parishes have an extra 30 days to register with FEMA for recovery assistance. https://t.co/odV87Y7NWh
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Obama now budgets more for illegal unaccompanied children who are mostly 17 year old males than for citizens on SS. https://t.co/zUEf6QDxoK
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Met Gavin Billings from my district this morning who is in town for the National Spelling Bee. Good luck tomorrow! https://t.co/W3VKYvSItm
Louisiana disaster survivors in 36 parishes have an extra 30 days – until June 13th – to register with FEMA for recovery assistance. Click
#Prayer is an act of faith that has unified us as a nation since our inception. Today, on the 65th annual #NationalDayOfPrayer, let us put aside
Foreigner says he hacked Hillary's server, containing top secret information, easily. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/04/romanian-hacker-guccifer-breached-clinton-server-it-was-easy.html
It was great to speak at the Caddo Parish Republican Executive Committee luncheon this afternoon to give an update on Congress, as well as issues