Luke Messer

Luke Messer


Congressman Messer congratulates Rep. Brooks and Dr. Bucshon on Energy & Commerce Committee appointments


WASHINGTON—Congressman Luke Messer released the following statement after Dr. Larry Bucshon and Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks were appointed to serve on the Committee on Energy and Commerce: “Congratulations to my good friends and Indiana colleagues Congresswoman Brooks and Dr. Bucshon on their appointments to the Energy and Commerce Committee.  Their expertise and insights will be a great asset to this important panel that has jurisdiction over issues that are vital to our state and have a significant impact on the everyday lives of Hoosiers.  I look forward to their good work in the 114th Congress.” Read More

Congressman Messer blasts President Obama’s executive amnesty plan


WASHINGTON—Congressman Luke Messer (IN-06) released the following statement in anticipation of President Obama’s announcement tonight that he will grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the United States: “As the President said a year ago, he is ‘not a king.’ He’s also not an ‘emperor.’ The American people won’t stand for it and neither will those of us who were sent to Congress to represent them.  We must stop this President from ignoring the Constitution, and I will do whatever necessary through the legislative process to block him from granting blanket amnesty.” Read More

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer wins key House GOP post


WASHINGTON — Indiana Rep. Luke Messer was elected Thursday to the No. 5 House GOP leadership slot, a position he said he will use to show Republicans can help working families. “We need a positive agenda, so we’re not defined by just what we oppose,” Messer said after his colleagues elected him chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee for the next Congress. Messer called the panel the party's “engine for policy development.” “It will give our area a bigger voice in the national debate,” the Shelbyville Republican told Indiana reporters. Messer beat New York Rep. Tom Reed 137 to 90 after Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall was knocked out on the first ballot. Both Reed and Woodall have served two years more than Messer, who is finishing his first term. Indiana Rep. Todd Young said Republicans recognized that Messer is “an incredibly capable person” with a “strong policy mind and a real clear grasp of politics.” Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie called Messer “probably the best listener I have met here in Congress.” “He’s always able to articulate what I think better than what I can,” Massie said after the election. “He’s also committed to working very hard at this job.” Messer said the bill lawmakers are voting on this week to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is a “great start” to advancing an agenda that will help working families. He also wants to make changes to the Affordable Care Act while working toward a broader repeal. “(Former Indiana Gov.) Mitch Daniels always said elections are green flags, not checkered flags, so now the hard work begins,” Messer said. The election was held behind closed doors in a House office building as Republicans lunched on Subway sandwiches. Messer's wife, Jennifer, was present as Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks and two other colleagues gave nominating speeches for Messer. Jennifer Messer had to leave to pick up their three children from school while the ballots were being cast so Messer sent a "We won" text to the family, who hurried back. Messer, 45, has served as president of his GOP freshman class and had been the first of the three candidates to announce he was running for the policy job. He had emphasized that he wanted to use the position to help lawmakers produce and advance legislation. “He worked very hard,” Brooks said. “I think he talked to almost everyone in our conference.” Messer also contributed more than $100,000 to congressional candidates and to the campaign arm of House Republicans. And he sent aides to help several campaigns. The current chairman of the policy committee, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Lankford, was elected to the Senate last week. Gov. Mike Pence, who is Messer's predecessor and the last Hoosier to serve in GOP leadership, had written a letter to his former colleagues on Messer's behalf. Pence called Messer a "principled conservative" and a "strong messenger." "He knows that message matters and plays an integral role in our ability to deliver for the American people," Pence wrote in his support letter. In addition to gaining a seat at the leadership table, Messer will have a budget of about $80,000 to pay for support staff and materials. Although he has just one term under his belt, Messer gained Capitol Hill experience as an aide in the 1990s. He also served in the Indiana General Assembly and was executive director of the Indiana Republican Party. Asked if he hopes to move up the leadership ladder, Messer said his philosophy has been to "do your current job and do it well and you never know what doors might open later." Read More

Lawmaker urges for more to be done on Ebola


SHELBYVILLE, Ind.--While federal government officials and officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to address the Ebola issue, a lawmaker who represents Shelby County said more should be done. U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, who represents Shelby County in the 6th Congressional District, urged Ebola Czar Ron Klain to help lead the effort to combat Ebola immediately. “We all know the old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ There are steps we could be taking right now to prevent the spread of Ebola before it becomes a widespread health care crisis in the U.S.,” Messer said in a press release issued by his staff. Messer joins U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, as urging for more to be done. Brooks, who hails from Carmel and chairs a House panel on emergency preparedness, urged the CDC to block people from flying for at least three weeks if they’re a health care worker who has treated an Ebola patient. In a letter to the CDC, Brooks wrote, “Given the deadly nature of this virus and its long incubation period, the Do Not Board list can serve as an added layer to protect public health and prevent a tragic situation from becoming much worse.” Messer called on the Obama administration to implement the following: issue a temporary travel ban into the U.S. from countries where Ebola is widespread and temporarily stop issuing visas to travelers from West African nations. “I’m mindful of the concerns about banning travel from West African nations. But until we have demonstrated the capacity to contain Ebola in this country, we shouldn’t continue to allow unfettered travel between West Africa and the United States,” Messer said. CDC Director Tom Frieden told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee last week that the Obama administration has not ruled out imposing restrictions on travel to and from West Africa to protect Americans from the disease. Messer has asked for a requirement for American Ebola patients to be treated at designated high-risk facilities and require the CDC to develop a contingency plan in the event of a widespread Ebola outbreak in the U.S.; Require mandatory monitoring of all individuals traveling from West Africa to the U.S. and an expansion of airport screenings of international flights at additional U.S. airports. Once the protocols are in place, any travel or visa bans could be lifted, according to Messer. “These protocols won’t be cheap, but America must provide whatever resources and funding is necessary to ensure we stop this deadly virus. Ebola is not only a national security threat; it is a threat to the world community that has to be stopped at its source,” Messer said. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Paul Gable is the editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Gable on Twitter @PaulGableTSN. Read More

Congressman Luke Messer calls on the Administration to show decisive leadership to combat Ebola


WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Luke Messer welcomed the President’s appointment of Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, to help lead the effort to combat Ebola.  He also called on Klain to show decisive leadership and act quickly to combat the spread of this deadly virus. “We all know the old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” said Congressman Luke Messer. “There are steps we could be taking right now to prevent the spread of Ebola before it becomes a widespread health care crisis in the U.S.”    Congressman Messer called on the Administration to implement the following protocols: Issue a temporary travel ban into the United States from countries where the Ebola virus is widespread. Temporarily stop issuing visas to travelers from West African nations. “I’m mindful of the concerns about banning travel from West African nations,” said Congressman Messer. “But, until we have demonstrated the capacity to contain Ebola in this country, we shouldn’t continue to allow unfettered travel between West Africa and the United States.” Congressman Messer believes taking the following steps will better prepare the nation to contain the Ebola virus.  Once these protocols are in place, any travel or visa bans could be lifted: Require American Ebola patients to be treated at designated high-risk facilities and require the CDC to develop a contingency plan in the event of a widespread Ebola outbreak in the U.S. Currently, there are four facilities in the U.S. properly equipped to handle Ebola patients.  Anyone infected with Ebola should be transferred to one of these facilities.  If these facilities reach capacity, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should have a contingency plan in place to determine where additional patients should be treated.   The health care workers at these designated hospitals should be trained and properly equipped to protect themselves from infection and prevent transmission to the general population. Require mandatory monitoring of all individuals traveling from West Africa to the U.S.  Anyone who has traveled between West Africa and the U.S. should be required to check-in at the closest health care facility on a regular basis to be physically examined until the 21-day incubation period has passed and it is determined they have not been infected with the Ebola virus.  Expand airport screenings of international flights at additional U.S. airports.  Currently, Ebola screenings are being conducted at five international airports—JFK (New York), Dulles (Washington, D.C), O’Hare (Chicago), Liberty International (Newark), and Hartsfield-Jackson (Atlanta). Additional screening should be conducted at the next tier of international airports that have a high number of inbound international flights on which individuals potentially infected with Ebola could be onboard. “These protocols won’t be cheap, but America must provide whatever resources and funding is necessary to ensure we stop this deadly virus,” said Congressman Messer.  “Ebola is not only a national security threat; it is a threat to the world community that has to be stopped at its source.”    Read More

The state of our economy: What's really going on?


“More jobs created than expected.” That was the headline Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs numbers.  No doubt, there was some much needed good news in this latest report.  The economy is slowly showing signs of recovery.  But, beneath the surface of the headlines, we still have a long way to go. While the unemployment rate now sits at 5.9 percent, the number of people participating in the labor force fell to 62.7 percent - its lowest level since 1978.  According to the report, nearly five years after the height of the recession, more than 7.1 million Americans who want full-time work are only working part-time.  That’s because they either can’t find full-time jobs or they had their hours cut by their employer.  The average worker is working less than 35 hours a week. Given those not-so-positive insights into the latest report, it’s easy to see why the economy remains the number one issue for most Americans.  According to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll, 9 in 10 likely voters call the economy an “extremely” or “very important” issue, but only 34 percent expect to see any improvement in the economy over the next year.   Many Hoosiers in the 6th District agree.  As I’ve traveled throughout our 19 counties, I’ve heard time and time again that paychecks aren’t going as far as they used to, budgets are tighter than ever before and people are being forced to work fewer hours.  Many are working harder, but falling farther behind, and have little optimism that things will improve.  That’s why the House of Representatives has worked over the last year to pass job-creating, economy-boosting bills that would make life better for all Americans.   We’ve passed more than 350 bills that are sitting, unheard, in the U.S. Senate.  Dozens of these bills would help create good-paying jobs and provide conditions that encourage small-businesses to grow and hire more workers. The Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4), which passed the House last month, is a package of 14 different initiatives to rollback regulations that restrict access to capital and stifle small business growth. H.R. 4 also repeals the President’s 30-hour work week under the Affordable Care Act.  This onerous government mandate has caused employers across the nation to reduce workers’ hours - that means less money to make ends meet each month.    The House also recently passed the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R. 2).  This package of bills focuses on energy production, infrastructure, reliability and efficiency—all solutions that will increase American energy independence and lower costs for consumers.  America is poised for an energy revolution.  But, we must take the necessary steps to get there.  That’s why H.R. 2 approves the Keystone XL pipeline.  Six years after the first permit for construction was submitted, the work on the pipeline still hasn’t started.  The Act also requires the Obama Administration to responsibly move forward with new offshore energy production in areas that could contain the most oil and natural gas resources.  H.R. 2 puts a stop to the EPA’s war on coal as well which is costing Hoosiers their jobs and driving up home heating costs. While the President and Democrats in both the House and Senate continuously talk about the problems facing our nation, they fail to provide viable long-term solutions, let alone consider the ones passed by the House.  Of course, the House proposals won’t solve all of our nation’s economic problems.  But, they would help jump-start the economy and provide a catalyst to speed-up the slowest economic recovery in our nation’s history.  Read More

Congressman Luke Messer votes to support limited military action in the fight against ISIL


WASHINGTON—Congressman Luke Messer released the following statement in support of H.J. Res. 124 which passed the House Wednesday afternoon 319 to 108.  The resolution extends Federal government funding through December 11, 2014, and includes an amendment to allow the President to take limited military action to train and equip some Syrian opposition groups to fight ISIL. “I rise today in support of the amendment offered by Chairman McKeon. We are way past any good solutions in Syria, but doing nothing would be the worst solution of all.  I understand and, in fact, share many of the reservations expressed by my colleagues today. This is not an easy choice. Yet, we cannot ignore the threat of ISIL. They are determined to bring war to America's shores.  We must respond. “The President's request to train and equip certain Syrian opposition forces is a necessary first step toward defeating ISIL, so I will support it.  I will also urge the President to do more to explain the true nature of this crisis to the American people.  This will not be an easy fight and airstrikes alone are unlikely to destroy ISIL and diminish its ability to threaten America.   “Americans are understandably war weary.  But, we did not pick this fight, and our nation always answers the bell to defend our way of life and protect our freedom. This time will be no different. May God bless our military personnel who will be involved in this effort, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”   Congressman Luke Messer delivered the above statement on the House floor during debate on the Resolution Wednesday.  If you would like to view the video or clip sound bites from today’s remarks, click here. Read More

GAO REPORT: President’s health care law is funding abortions


WASHINGTON—Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report confirming that federal tax dollars are being used to pay for abortions under the President’s health care law. GAO found—despite the President’s promise in 2009 that under his health care law “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions”—more than 1,000 health insurance plans, supported by your tax dollars, are doing just that.  “This is just another example of the broken promises that were made by the President to justify enactment of his health care law,” said Congressman Luke Messer.  “Most people in my district don’t think their tax dollars should be spent this way.  I couldn’t agree more.”  The Affordable Care Act established health insurance exchanges where eligible individuals can purchase insurance that includes abortion coverage.  If the plan covers abortion in cases other than rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, a separate payment for the abortion or “abortion surcharge” must be collected.  However, according to the GAO, none of the insurers interviewed actually collected a separate payment.   Longstanding Federal policy, often referred to as the Hyde Amendment, prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.  The Affordable Care Act circumvents this policy by establishing the “surcharge.” Congressman Messer cosponsored and has voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R. 7), which passed in the House.  It stops taxpayer funding for abortion and for plans that include abortion in all Federal programs.  The bill is awaiting action by the U.S. Senate like many other common-sense, House-passed measures.   “Our greatest concerns are now being realized when it comes to abortion coverage in Obamacare,” said Mike Fichter, President of Indiana Right to Life.  “We warned this would be the case, but our concerns were consistently dismissed by Obamacare supporters in the House whose vote put Obamacare over the top.  The Obama administration and Democratic leadership in Congress are proving once again they will promote and advance abortion at all costs, even when it means being dishonest with the American people.  I applaud Congressman Messer for voting for H.R. 7 and for his leadership on this issue.” Read More

Congressman Messer works to make access to a great education possible for more students


WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Luke Messer introduced sweeping legislation that will empower parents to choose the best school option for their child and invest more in their child’s education. “For our students to compete in the 21st Century global economy, they need to have access to a high-quality education,” said Congressman Luke Messer. “Right now, that’s not a reality for too many kids.  Our bill will not only help make access to a great education possible for more students, but also more affordable for families.” The Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act (H.R. 5477), endorsed by Heritage Action for America, does the following: Gives states the option to use nearly $14.5 billion in existing annual federal education funds to follow students to the public or private school of their choice. Allows 529 education savings account funds to be used for qualified Pre-K to 12th grade education expenses, as well as for college expenses. Eliminates the annual aggregate contribution cap of $2,000 on Coverdell education savings accounts so parents have the tools necessary to responsibly save for their child’s education. Allows Coverdell education savings account funds to be used for qualified home school education expenses, consistent with State law. “As students across the country return to the classroom, it is imperative that lawmakers utilize this moment to advance strong school choice legislation that empowers parents, provides greater opportunities for children of all backgrounds, and refocuses the Federal role in education to its proper and limited place,” said Heritage Action for America. “Heritage Action strongly supports the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act and encourages all Members to cosponsor this bill.” For the text of the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act, please click here. To view video of the speech Congressman Messer delivered on the House floor encouraging his colleagues to support H.R. 5477 click here.    ### Read More

Don’t forget the lesson of 9/11


Thirteen years have passed since that dark day in September when terrorists brought war to America.  The pain we felt as we witnessed the horror on 9/11 has naturally started to fade as the pages of history become further filled.  But, the lessons we learned that day are just as important now as they were then.  The 9/11 Commission’s report about what happened that fateful Tuesday concluded that a failure of imagination about the nature of the threat we faced from al Qaeda—and the inertia that prevented us from diminishing that threat—led to the attacks in New York, Washington, and on Flight 93.  We simply weren’t able to connect the dots in time to stop the attacks and save the lives that were lost. The United States subsequently killed Osama bin Laden and captured many of his top lieutenants.  We disrupted the ability of al Qaeda to plan and carry out such attacks and degraded their overall capabilities.  We also enhanced our own counterterrorism capabilities and closed loopholes that allowed terrorists to exploit our generosity and legal protections for their murderous purposes.  We even created an agency dedicated to safeguarding our homeland security.  Unfortunately, a new generation of terrorists is just as committed to bringing war to our shores now as al Qaeda was then.  The most serious threat comes from a violent extremist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly referred to as ISIS.   This fanatical group is dedicated to creating an Islamic state governed by a strict law that rejects fundamental freedoms and calls for the extermination of non-believers.  But ISIS isn’t content to wreak havoc solely in the Middle East. Terrorism experts believe the group, which just publicly beheaded two American journalists, wants to commit attacks on American soil—attacks that could cause greater loss of life than on 9/11.  We can’t let that happen. Wednesday night, President Obama laid out his plan for addressing the ISIS threat.  While many, including me, have disagreed with many of the President’s foreign policy decisions, these differences must not stop us from attacking terrorists before they attack us.  We will never allow evil to go unchallenged or stand in the way of administering the swift and severe justice that terrorists deserve. Our nation is rightly war weary.  However, our shared desire for peace can’t blind us to the fact that ISIS is committed to bringing war to America like al Qaeda did in 2001.  The decision to unleash America’s military might must only be made to ensure the safety and security of our country and its citizens.  We seek peace, but we maintain strength so we can always answer the bell in the fight for freedom. We will never be able to extinguish the desire of evil-doers to commit their heinous and inhumane acts.   But, the enduring lesson of 9/11 is that we must take the fight to terrorists before they bring it to us.  We honor the memories of those who gave their lives on 9/11—and in service to our country since—by remembering that lesson.  Read More

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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