Luke Messer

Luke Messer


Have coffee with Congressman Messer in New Castle


WASHINGTON (June 23, 2016)—Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) announced a “Coffee with the Congressman” stop in New Castle.  This is an opportunity for residents of Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District to ask Congressman Messer questions about issues important to them and get updates on what’s happening in Congress.  These events are open to the public and the press.

Wednesday, June 29th

Café Royal
2004 ½ South Memorial Drive
New Castle, IN 47362

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Have coffee with Congressman Messer in New Castle


WASHINGTON (June 23, 2016)—Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) announced a “Coffee with the Congressman” stop in New Castle.  This is an opportunity for residents of Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District to ask Congressman Messer questions about issues important to them and get updates on what’s happening in Congress.  These events are open to the public and the press.

Wednesday, June 29th

Café Royal
2004 ½ South Memorial Drive
New Castle, IN 47362

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Have coffee with Congressman Messer in New Castle


WASHINGTON (June 23, 2016)—Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) announced a “Coffee with the Congressman” stop in New Castle.  This is an opportunity for residents of Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District to ask Congressman Messer questions about issues important to them and get updates on what’s happening in Congress.  These events are open to the public and the press.

Wednesday, June 29th

Café Royal
2004 ½ South Memorial Drive
New Castle, IN 47362
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

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Rep. Messer asks U.S. ED to fix IDOE/Ritz education funding mistake


WASHINGTON (June 22, 2016)— Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) sent a request to U.S. Department of Education Secretary King asking that the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) be allowed to grant carryover waivers for schools impacted by IDOE’s flawed fiscal year 2016 funding allocations. These funds are provided to educate Indiana’s most disadvantaged students.

“Title I money is designed to make sure the most at-risk students get a fair chance to succeed. Student instruction will suffer if schools aren’t allowed to carry over these funds into next year,” said Congressman Luke Messer. “Our most vulnerable public school students should not be penalized because the Indiana Department of Education made errors in the Title I allocation process.”

Last September, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) informed IDOE that the method used to calculate Title I disbursements was inconsistent with the law. Among several errors identified by ED, the Department concluded IDOE was incorrectly applying the hold harmless provision to charter schools, which caused some disadvantaged students to lose out on over $2 million. Sadly, correcting the misallocations took IDOE 6 months, which is functionally too late for schools to use the funds.

“All public school students should be treated fairly.  It would be wrong for students to be harmed because of IDOE’s mistakes,” said Congressman Luke Messer.

The letter, which can be found here, was also signed by Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04). It asks Secretary King to provide IDOE with the flexibility to allow impacted schools to carry over funds to the next school year.




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Congressman Luke Messer Applauds Passage of Bill to Combat IRS Negligence


WASHINGTON (June 14, 2016) – Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) voted for the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 5053). This legislation prevents the IRS from collecting personal information of donors who contribute to tax-exempt organizations.

 “The American people are tired of the bureaucratic incompetence proliferating in Washington,” Representative Messer said. “Under the Obama administration, the IRS has been plagued by one scandal after another. Revelations that the IRS leaked personally identifiable tax information of conservative donors reinforces the complete distrust the American people have in Uncle Sam collecting their money.”

H.R. 5053 prohibits the IRS from requiring certain tax-exempt 501(c) organizations to report the names, addresses, and other identifying information of donors who give under $5,000. It passed the House of Representatives on June 14, 2016 by a vote of 240 to 182, and will be sent to the Senate where it awaits further action.

 “This legislation helps protect the private information of individuals against IRS abuse and negligence, and is a necessary step in restoring confidence in an agency which has very little.”

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Messer Highlights Commitment to Protect Religious Liberty


Since being elected as your Representative in Congress in 2012, I have always been clear - I support religious liberty and oppose discrimination. My vote on the Energy and Water Appropriations Act and its amendments reflect those principles. Last week, Mr. Maloney offered an amendment that would have barred federal contractors from making employment decisions based on one’s sexual orientation or gender identity without regard for the employer’s religious convictions. I opposed that amendment because it lacked the necessary and vital safeguards for religious liberty that were included in a modified version this week.

As modified, the Maloney amendment provided protections “as required by the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.” In addition, an amendment offered by Mr. Byrne that was adopted would protect the rights of religious corporations, associations, educational institutions, and societies to act in accordance with their own religious convictions. These changes provided the requisite protections for faith-based employers that I felt were needed.

These amendments had nothing to do with schools and did not codify the President’s unprecedented overreach into our nation’s school bathrooms. If it had, I would not have supported it. That is why I introduced legislation last week that would prohibit the federal government from making these decisions and instead return the authority to state and local officials to determine their own bathroom policies.

Freedom of religion is our constitutional right. No amendment should ever even come close to jeopardizing that freedom. I will always prioritize protecting our ability to exercise our own faith while at the same time encouraging equal protection under the law for all Americans. 

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Messer Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Address Article V Recordkeeping


WASHINGTON—This week, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Article V Records Transparency Act (H.R. 5306), to ensure states are able to exercise their authority under Article V of the Constitution by restructuring the recordkeeping process of Article V applications.

Article V of the Constitution provides two methods to amend our founding document.  The first method allows Congress to propose amendments to the states for ratification if two-thirds of both Chambers agree upon a proposed amendment. The second method, known as the convention method, requires Congress to call a convention to consider amendments if two-thirds of the states submit applications requesting such a convention.

Since the founding of our country, states have submitted hundreds of convention applications on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, the federal government has never kept track of these applications. And subsequently, not even the National Archives—the chief record keeping agency of the federal government—knows how many applications actually exist.  

“The current recordkeeping process for these Article V state applications is grossly inadequate,” Messer said. “In crafting the Constitution, the Founders intended for the amendment process to be difficult, but not impossible. Without an official count of how many valid state applications exist, it is virtually impossible for the states to effectuate their authority under the Constitution.

“This legislation is not about driving a specific political agenda or expanding Congressional authority; it’s about making sure the Constitution works as the Founders intended. This bill ensures the federal government keeps track of these applications, so that Congress can carry out its specific duty under the Constitution.”

H.R. 5306 requires the National Archives to find every state application and rescission within two years and transmit them to Congress. The bill then requires the Chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to post these applications and rescissions on a public website, which would serve as the official database for all Article V records.

The Article V Records Transparency Act is being heralded as a vital piece of legislation by numerous stakeholders, including the Jeffersonian Project, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s  501(c)(4) affiliate, the Friends of the Article V Convention, Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL), the Compact for America, the Madison Coalition, the Compact for a Balanced Budget, Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, and constitutional scholars Prof. Rob Natelson (University of Montana) and Prof. Larry Lessig (Harvard).

Friends of the Article V Convention Co-Founder Bill Walker said the bill “corrects a massive government records issue too long ignored which must, in order to satisfy a constitutional requirement, be addressed by Congress now.”  While Prof. Rob Natelson, considered by many to be the country’s most renowned Article V scholar, notes that “By necessary implication, Article V requires Congress to tally applications, correlate them by subject matter, keep track of any state legislative rescissions thereof, and store them appropriately. […] However, Congress has never adopted a consistent and workable procedure for receiving or storing those applications and rescissions. This bill fills that gap [in recordkeeping].”

H.R. 5306 is also being supported by broad coalition of legislators, including democrat Members Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL); the House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); the Judiciary Subcommittee Chair on the Constitution and Civil Justice Trent Franks (R-AZ); the Rules Subcommittee Chair on the Rules and Organization of the House Steve Stivers (R-OH); Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL); and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

“I’m pleased the legislation has garnered the support of such a broad and bipartisan coalition of House Members and stakeholders,” Messer continued. “Although it’s not clear where or when our recordkeeping process broke down, it is clear that this problem must be addressed. The Article V Records Transparency Act provides a simple solution to an issue that has persisted for far too long.”

For the full text of H.R. 5306, please click here.

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Congressman Messer honors 6th District students for academic achievement


BATESVILLE, Ind. (May 24, 2016)—Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) honored dozens of students from east-central and southeastern Indiana Thursday evening for their academic achievement during the 2015-2016 school year.  The top male and female 8th grade students from middle schools across Indiana’s 6th Congressional District were presented the 8th Grade Scholar award by Congressman Messer.  The ceremony, sponsored by Hillenbrand and Ivy Tech Community College, took place at Batesville High School on Thursday, May 19, 2016.   

“These students should be very proud of their academic achievement,” said Congressman Messer. “It’s an honor every year to be able to recognize outstanding young people in our area for their dedication to their education.  I hope that this award encourages these rising 9th graders to continue to strive for excellence and to be leaders both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Students were selected by their teachers at each individual school to receive the 8th Grade Scholar Award. 

List of 8th Grade Scholar Award Recipients by County:

Bhavey Jain, Central Middle School; Jennifer Kang, Central Middle School; Melanie Taylor, Hauser Junior High School; Sam Johnson, Hauser Junior High School; Cameron Wischmeyer, St. Bartholomew; Elizabeth King, St. Bartholomew; Vivek Hebbar, Northside Middle School; Emie Kiser, Northside Middle School; Noah Voelker, White Creek Lutheran; Alyssa Schultz, White Creek Lutheran

Casey Radenheimer, St. Lawrence; Sarah Bagshaw, St. Lawrence; Wyatt Parks, South Dearborn Middle School; Samantha Engle, Sunman-Dearborn Middle School; Kasey Carr, Sunman-Dearborn Middle School; Nicole Kreimer, South Dearborn Middle School

Craig Adams, North Decatur Junior High School; Eli Anderson, Greensburg Junior High School; Kate Burkhart, Greensburg Junior High School; Connor Bower, South Decatur Junior-Senior High School;  Kalie Fry, South Decatur Junior-Senior High School; Craig Allen, North Decatur Junior-Senior High School; Jane Spreckelson, North Decatur Junior-Senior High School

Ashlyn Craig, Daleville Junior High School; Evan Etchison, Daleville Junior-Senior High School; Meagan Bowyer, Hoosier Academy; Cedric Lamb, Hoosier Academy; Gabriel Deka, Hoosier Academy; Amanda Hamrick, Hoosier Academy; Shannon Riegle, Northside Middle School; Laura Rogers, Northside Middle School; Skylar Workman, Selma Middle school

Nate Rush, Geist Montessori Academy; Carmella Whipple, Geist Montessori Academy; Cameron Ford Cole, Mt. Vernon Middle School; Andi Nicole Manship, Mt. Vernon Middle School

Aiden Orcutt, Knightstown Intermediate School; Connor Brookbank, Blue River Valley Junior-Senior High School; Abigail Irvin, Blue River Valley Junior-Senior High School; Emma Moore, Knightstown Intermediate School; Samuel Pederson, Shenandoah Middle School; Rylee Johnson, Shenandoah Middle School

Elias Hanson, Madison Consolidated Junior High School; Trent Haggard, Christian Academy of Madison; Heidi Almaroad, Christian Academy of Madison; Ariel Hall, Madison Consolidated Junior High School

Abigail Rowlett, Jennings County Middle School; Wyatt St. John, Jennings County Middle School

Isabelle Horn, Lee L. Driver Middle School; Grant Wagner, Lee L. Driver Middle School

Reagan Carroll, Jac-Cen-Del Junior/Senior High School; Seth Pohle, Jac-Cen-Del; Abby McCarty, Southern Ripley Junior High; Andrew Conrad, South Ripley Junior High; Matt Riehle, St. Nicholas; Carter Wade, Milan Middle School; Lucy Ortt, Milan Middle School; Clayton Grunkemeyer, Batesville Middle School; Elizabeth Mullen, Batesville Middle School; Adam Scott, St. Louis; Anna Moeller, St. Louis; Ruth Heile, St. Nicholas

Ethan Chastain, Benjamin Rush Middle School; Julia Holland, Benjamin Rush Middle School

Jillian Walker, Austin Middle School; Luke Watts, Austin Middle School

Anastasia Stevens, Triton Central Middle School; Cassandra Lutes, Morristown Junior High School; Landon Watson, Shelbyville Middle School; Hannah Johnson, Shelbyville Middle School; Alexis Pinnick, Southwestern; Wyatt Schonfeld, Morristown Junior-Senior High School; Ian Carter, Waldron Junior-Senior High School; Madeline Robinson, Waldron Junior-Senior High School; Jaren Childers, Southwestern

Patrick Snow, Switzerland County Middle School; Allison Furnish, Switzerland County Middle School

Haylee Richards, Union County Middle School; Luke Bantz, Union County Middle School

Clayton Tompkins, Lincoln Middle School; Emily Keen, Lincoln Middle School; Anastasia Stevens, Test Intermediate School; Jonathan Jellison, Community Christian School; Leah Kessling, Community Christian School; Daulton Coates, Hibberd School; Darian Belcher, Hibberd School; Kenneth Gibson, Test Intermediate School

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Rep. Luke Messer files legislation to block Obama rule on transgender bathrooms


WASHINGTON — Rep. Luke Messer introduced legislation Wednesday to block the Obama’s administration’s new guidelines that call on schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender they identify with.

The Shelbyville Republican’s bill would prevent schools from losing federal funding if they don’t follow the guidelines.

Messer said such decisions “should be made at the state and local level by people who will put the interest of our kids ahead of political ideology.”

“It’s irresponsible for the Obama administration to begin this social experiment in the bathrooms of our nation’s elementary schools,” Messer said in a statement.

If Messer’s bill were to be voted on by Congress, it would have to receive enough support to be able to override an expected presidential veto.

The federal guidance was sent to schools last week, the same week the Justice Department and North Carolina exchanged lawsuits over that state's new bathroom law. It requires people to use the public restrooms that correspond to the sex observed on their birth certificate.

Obama said the federal rules are designed to protect transgender students from bullying.

"Anybody who has been in school, in high school, who has been a parent should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority — kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender — are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially," Obama told the website Buzzfeed Monday.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz praised the directive last week. But Indiana Gov. Mike Pence criticized the guidelines, saying "the federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature."

While the guidance doesn't have the force of law, it tells schools how the Education Department intends to enforce Title IX — a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in school programs and activities — in the future. And because Title IX is directly tied to federal education funding, the guidance carries an implied threat: Follow the federal guidelines or risk losing those funds.

The letter last week was addressed to all schools that receive federal funding, including 16,500 school districts and 7,000 colleges, universities and trade schools. It also applies to charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries and museums that receive federal aid.

Indiana receives more than $1.5 billion in federal funding for various education programs. Another $2.4 billion in federal funds is spent on student loans.

Any threat of funding loss would be directed at the noncompliant school, not the entire state.

But the denial of federal funds appears to be a recourse the federal government is reluctant to take. Addressing the North Carolina law last week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration "will not take action to withhold funding while this enforcement action is playing out in the courts."

More than three dozen House Republicans, including Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis, sent a letter to Obama on Monday asking him to rescind “your poorly executed threat to school districts across the country and reaffirm their right to govern themselves as they see fit within the bounds of the law.”

“We view this as an effort to implement your administration’s political agenda outside the bounds of the law and against the will of the American people,” the lawmakers wrote.

USA TODAY reporter Gregory Korte and IndyStar reporter Chelsea Schneider contributed to this report.

Email Maureen Groppe at Follow her on Twitter: @mgroppe.

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Messer files bill to protect public school students from the Obama Administration’s school bathroom mandate


WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) filed a bill that would protect students in public schools from the Obama Administration’s threat to deny federal funding to institutions that do not allow students to use their bathroom of choice regardless of their gender.

On May 13th, the Justice Department issued guidance to schools across the country regarding transgender students.  It states schools must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity, not their biological sex or face losing Federal funding under Title IX.

In response, Congressman Messer introduced the PUBLIC School Act (H.R. 5275).  It states that decisions regarding gender identity and the use of school bathrooms and locker rooms should be made at the State and local level, not by the Obama Administration.  It also ensures no school would face Federal penalties for failing to comply should the Administration attempt to withhold Federal funds.

“Everyone on both sides of this debate should be treated with respect,” said Congressman Messer.  “And, through public discourse, I believe we can come to a solution that protects the privacy and dignity of everyone involved.  But, it’s irresponsible for the Obama Administration to begin this social experiment in the bathrooms of our nation’s elementary schools.  Decisions of this magnitude should be made at the state and local level by people who will put the interest of our kids ahead of political ideology.”     

For the full text of the PUBLIC School Act, click here.

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Rep. Messer fights for education choice on House floor

2016-04-29 14:17:48

Rep. Messer on "personality" vs. "policies & principles" in Indiana Primary

2016-04-28 21:29:33

Rep. Messer fights to protect retirement advice for low-,middle-income families

2016-04-28 20:09:33

Rep. Messer questions DOE Secretary about Title I funds for Indiana charter schools

2016-02-24 18:39:04

Messer defends debt ceiling transparency amendment on House Floor

2016-02-11 22:33:25

Messer debates bill to end Operation Choke Point

2016-02-04 15:57:11

Rep. Messer advocates for school choice during House Ed & Workforce hearing

2016-02-03 20:42:34

Messer rallies at SCOTUS to defend workplace freedom #istandwithrebecca

2016-01-11 16:41:37

Rep. Messer defends 2nd Amendment Rights on CNN

2016-01-08 14:38:17

Rep. Luke Messer: "Travel documents can be weapons of terror"

2015-12-07 22:28:33

Congressman Messer supports the Every Student Succeeds Act

2015-12-02 22:07:15

Messer on FOX News: "Refugees should be vetted by FBI and Homeland Security"

2015-11-21 19:16:17

Congressman Messer on Varney & Co. discussing #SyrianRefugees

2015-11-18 15:38:32

Congressman Messer condemns Paris terror attacks

2015-11-17 21:16:56

Rep. Messer works to ensure Americans have access to affordable financial planning advice

2015-10-27 21:49:24

Rep. Messer continues to fight for all children to have access to a high-quality education

2015-10-21 21:04:00

Rep. Messer tells Chuck Todd #HouseSpeaker race is less about “who” and more about “how”

2015-10-08 22:07:25

Rep. Messer questions witnesses at Ed & Workforce hearing on NLRB "joint employer" ruling effects

2015-09-29 19:54:48

Rep. Messer discusses Speaker Boehner's resignation on Fox News

2015-09-27 18:45:43

Rep. Messer talks with Tamron Hall about Speaker Boehner's decision to resign

2015-09-25 21:27:22

Contact Information

508 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3021
Fax 202-225-3382

Luke Messer is the Congressman for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District, a 19 county region of east-central and southeastern Indiana comprised of manufacturing and agricultural communities. Elected President of the Freshman Class by his peers, Messer serves on the House Committees on Budget, Foreign Affairs, and Education & the Workforce.

Congressman Messer is a 6th-generation Hoosier and national advocate for limited government, fiscal discipline, a strong national defense, and traditional values. Messer opposes bailouts, government takeovers and runaway federal spending.

Prior to his service in Congress, Luke Messer gained experience as a lawyer and former two-term State Representative working with Governor Daniels on budget issues as a Member of the Indiana House Ways & Means Committee. Messer is an accomplished education reformer: authoring nationally recognized high school drop-out reform legislation in the Indiana Statehouse and serving in the private sector as the President and CEO of the Hoosiers for Economic Growth Network & School Choice Indiana.

Raised by a single-mom who still works at a factory in Greensburg Indiana, Luke Messer was taught the value of hard work at an early age.  He worked his way through school with jobs that included collecting garbage, mowing lawns, waiting tables, telemarketing and umpiring baseball games.  Eventually, Messer graduated summa cum laude & Phi Beta Kappa from Wabash College.  Luke earned his law degree at Vanderbilt University where he also served on the Law Review.

Luke and his wife Jennifer have two daughters, one son and three dogs.  Luke has also served as an elder at his church and is the author of a children’s book about Indiana entitled “Hoosier Heart.”

Serving With

Jackie Walorski


Marlin Stutzman


Todd Rokita


Susan Brooks


Larry Bucshon


Todd Young


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