Luke Messer

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

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

2014/09/17

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

2014/09/16

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

2014/09/16

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

2014/09/11

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

Congressman Messer remembers the victims of 9/11

2014/09/11

WASHINGTON—Congressman Luke Messer released the following statement to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: “Our world changed forever on this day thirteen years ago when human instruments of evil took from us thousands of innocent men and women who were going about their business like we all are today.  Our hearts will be forever broken for those who lost their lives and for those who were left to carry on without their friends and loved ones.  We will always remember their pain and honor their sacrifice.  I pray for those who have suffered so much since 9/11.  But, we should all take comfort knowing that Providence will ensure goodness always prevails over evil.  We will never let those who are threatened by our way of life scare us into abandoning the principles that make America the greatest nation on earth.” Read More

Congressman Luke Messer votes to protect Hoosier farmers from EPA overreach

2014/09/10

WASHINGTON —Last night, Congressman Luke Messer voted to allow Hoosier farmers to do their jobs without costly and unnecessary government interference.  The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 (H.R. 5078), which Congressman Messer voted for, stops the redefinition of “navigable waters” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and preserves the existing federal-state partnership under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The CWA was established by Congress in 1972, and created a co-partnership between state and federal regulators so they could work together to maintain the integrity of our nation’s waterways.  Under this Act, the federal government’s authority was limited to “navigable waters.”  Unfortunately, in April of this year, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule that would redefine the scope of the waters subject to federal jurisdiction.  This proposed rule would bypass the legislative process and give more power to the Obama Administration over waters that were never meant to be covered by the CWA like ditches, man-made ponds and seasonally-wet areas.    “I recently met with the Indiana Farm Bureau and dozens of Hoosier farmers at Miers Farm in Greensburg,” said Congressman Luke Messer.  “And, I have to say, no one understands the importance of clean water more than our nation’s farmers.  But, the Administration’s insistence on broadening its authority under the Clean Water Act has to be stopped.  It does nothing but add huge, unnecessary regulatory costs to our farmers and the millions of American families who depend on them.” The proposed expansion of regulatory power could have serious consequences for the nation’s economy and significantly restrict the ability of landowners to make decisions about their property and its development. “On behalf of its farmer members, Indiana Farm Bureau thanks the House for passing legislation to stop the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ overreach,” said Don Villwock, president of Indiana Farm Bureau.  “The proposal is an attempt to expand the Clean Water Act beyond the scope intended by Congress when passed and by the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent rulings.  Indiana farmers appreciate those members of Congress, like Rep. Messer, who are working to block it.” H.R. 5078 passed in the House 262 to 152. Read More

Rep. Messer brings Congress to 6th District

2014/09/04

GREENFIELD, Ind.—Today, Members of Congress, school leaders and business owners came together in Greenfield, Indiana, to discuss the effects of the President's health care law on schools and businesses. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, on which Congressman Luke Messer serves, convened the hearing in an effort to learn directly from Hoosiers impacted by the Affordable Care Act. "It's been a privilege to bring my colleagues to the 6th District, and give them the opportunity to learn from school leaders and business owners who are here on the front lines dealing with the real-world consequences of this law," said Congressman Messer. "It’s a shame the federal government is taxing schools and small businesses to pay for the ACA. It's just not right. And, we heard today just what a detrimental impact this flawed law is having around the state." Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), who is a retired physician, had this to say about the Affordable Care Act: “Our children and working families deserve better.  It is clear we need to set aside the President’s health care law and start over with real reform that will lower costs and expand access.” The hearing consisted of two panels--one focused on school districts, the other on small businesses--with four witnesses on each panel.   Several testified about the negative impacts the President’s health care law is having on their respective workplaces.  "Like many community colleges, our funding is very limited," said Tom Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. "It does not allow us to absorb large, unfunded mandates such as any employee who reaches 30 hours being offered health insurance. We would have to pass along such increases on the backs of students by increasing tuition." After the education panel concluded, four members of Indiana's small business community also had the opportunity to testify. "The Affordable Care Act seems to be a government mandate to treat your employees well, just not too well," said Nate LaMar, International Regional Manager of Draper, Inc of Spiceland.  His sentiments were echoed by Mark DeFabis, President of Integrated Distribution Services of Plainfield.  “The ACA’s arbitrary establishment of a 30 hour work week as full time does not reflect the real world and is ultimately harmful to all small businesses and the workers for whom we provide jobs.” Congressman Messer has introduced two bills in the House to reduce the negative impacts of the President’s health care law on schools and businesses. The SCHOOL Act (H.R. 4775) exempts schools from having to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate.  The Small Business Job Protection Act (H.R. 2577) changes the definition of large employer from 50 employees as stated in the Affordable Care Act to 100 employees which would effectively exempt most small businesses from this costly mandate. “There are very strong feelings about the President’s health care law on both sides of the aisle,” said Congressman Messer. “I would hope that most could agree, however, that our nation’s school children and hourly workers shouldn’t be forced to pay the price of that law.” Read More

Congress coming to Greenfield

2014/08/26

The open enrollment period for insurance plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act is just months away.  For most Hoosiers, that means a bigger bite out of their monthly budgets next year.  Health insurance premiums in Indiana will go up an average of 13% in 2015 according to a study conducted by the Health Research Institute.   That means individual Hoosiers can expect to pay about $497 per month for insurance without government subsidies.  That’s not affordable, despite the law’s title. Employers across the state are facing the same harsh reality.  Business owners and cash-strapped school corporations are grappling with how to deal with a provision of the law that requires them to provide costly health insurance that many of their employees neither want nor need.  These schools and businesses are facing big fines if they don’t.  That’s bad for business and terrible for students.  Shelbyville Central Schools estimates the Affordable Care Act will cost $794,000 annually.  Southern Hancock School Corporation estimates the cost at $450,000.  To help deal with the increased strain on already cash-strapped budgets, bus drivers, teachers’ aides, and other support staff have already had their hours reduced.  The largest school district in Indiana, Fort Wayne Community Schools, has calculated that it would either face $10 million of added compliance costs or be forced to pay $8 million in fines to the IRS to comply with the mandate.  The district has been forced to cut the hours of more than 600 part-time cafeteria workers and teacher aides as a result. Small business owners have to make the same tough choices.  The law’s redefinition of what is means to work full-time—30 hours—makes more employers with fewer employees subject to the same fines as schools unless they provide costly insurance.  According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, these tough choices will reduce labor force compensation and push as many as 2.3 million people out of the workforce over the next seven years.  This “new normal” for our nation’s workforce is not OK.  The House of Representatives has acted to stop this damage by voting to repeal, delay, and defund this law.  But the Senate has failed to follow suit.  They need to hear your voices.  That’s why the Committee on Education and the Workforce, of which I am a member, has decided to hold a field hearing in Greenfield entitled “The Effects of the President’s Health Care Law on Indiana’s Classrooms and Workplaces.”  It’s a chance for Hoosier school and business leaders to express their concerns to Congress and draw attention to the harm the President’s health care law is having on students and workers.  The hearing, held by the Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, will bring together members of Congress from around the state and nation to hear first-hand how this law is hurting Hoosiers.  The hearing is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 4, 2014, at 10 a.m. at Greenfield City Hall located at 10 S. State Street in Greenfield.  I look forward to bringing Congress to Greenfield and invite you to join us on September 4th.  Please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-3021 if you have any questions regarding the hearing. Read More

More than 65 employers looking to hire attend 6th District Job Fair in Lawrenceburg

2014/08/18

WASHINGTON—The 6th Congressional District Job Fair in Lawrenceburg was a big success last Thursday.  More than 200 job seekers came through Ivy Tech Community college and had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with over 65 employers from across the region.  “Thanks to committed community partners and engaged regional employers we had a great job fair in Lawrenceburg last week.   I’m glad we were able to give Hoosiers who are either unemployed or under employed the opportunity to meet with dozens of businesses in our area looking to hire.” The 6th District Job Fair in Lawrenceburg was hosted in conjunction with WorkOne Southeast and the Dearborn County Commissioners. Dearborn County Comissioner Kevin Lynch said, "I am thankful to our Congressman, Luke Messer, for his attendance and personal touch.  It is very apparent by his actions and time spent with those participating in this even that he truly cares.  We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback received during and immediately following thi sevent.  It is a great feeling to see our community come together in such a unified manner. When this happens, we are destined to achieve and succeed." This is the second year Congressman Messer has teamed up with WorkOne Southeast and the Dearborn County Commissioners for the Lawrenceburg Job Fair.  For a look at photos from the event be sure to visit www.messer.house.gov/media-center/photos    Congressman Messer also hosts an annual job fair in Muncie each summer.  This year’s event took place July 2, 2014, at Ball State University. Read More

Defending the Constitution

2014/08/06

Last week, the House passed a bill authorizing Speak John Boehner to take legal action against the President for his historic abuse of executive power.  While no one takes joy in this lawsuit, it was an important step in defending the U.S. Constitution.  By signing the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, our Founding Fathers established three separate but equal branches of government.   Under this system, each branch acts as a restraint on the powers of the other two.  Most of us learned this basic civics lesson in elementary school.  We were taught that our system of "checks and balances" protects our nation from tyranny and ensures that no American leader is above the law.  When President Obama was a U.S. Senator he seemed to recognize the constitutional limitation of the Presidency.  Back then, he said, “The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the Executive Branch and not go through Congress at all.”  Today, President Obama takes a much different approach.  When faced with disagreements with Congress, the President now vows to govern with his "phone and pen," because “we are not just going to be waiting for legislation.”   As a former constitutional law professor, the President should know better. To be clear, President Obama isn't the first President to stretch the bounds of executive authority.  Inherent tensions between the legislative branch—which makes the laws—and the executive branch—which enforces  them—have existed since the earliest days of our Republic.  But, this President’s consistent disregard of the law and his willingness to act unilaterally on major issues without congressional authorization are truly without equal.  On matters ranging from health care to energy, foreign policy to immigration, President Obama has repeatedly circumvented Congress through executive action.  By refusing to enforce laws that he disagrees with, the President has created his own laws and excused himself from his constitutional responsibility to execute the statutes he is sworn to enforce.   That’s not how laws are made in America.   The President’s supporters dismiss these concerns by pointing out he has issued fewer executive orders than his predecessors.  That argument misses the point.  The problem is with the consequence of those orders, not just the number.  Moreover, this President, in many cases, has simply ignored the law—like secretly releasing five dangerous terrorists without consulting Congress.  He also has bypassed executive orders in favor of less official ways of acting, like having staff issue agency-wide letters about stopping deportations or posting blog entries to tell us about delays and changes to his health care law.  Proponents of the President’s actions may cheer him today.  But, they may regret it when future presidents are emboldened to run roughshod over the people’s representatives and exercise power in the same manner tomorrow. We cannot let that happen, and that's why I support the House lawsuit.  It seeks to protect the Constitution and keep America a place where no leader is above the law. Read More

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Contact Information

508 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3021
Fax 202-225-3382
messer.house.gov

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

INDIANA's 2nd DISTRICT

Marlin Stutzman

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Todd Rokita

INDIANA's 4th DISTRICT

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Larry Bucshon

INDIANA's 8th DISTRICT

Todd Young

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT