Luke Messer

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Rep. Messer Applauds President Trump’s Reversal of Obama School Bathroom Mandate

2017/02/23

WASHINGTON (Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) today applauded President Trump’s action to reverse the Obama mandate that forced local schools to adopt federal transgender bathroom policies.

Obama’s mandate, issued in May of 2016, required schools to 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.  Messer championed efforts in Congress to fight back against this Obama mandate when it was first issued by the Justice Department.

“The federal government has no business dictating bathroom policies in our local schools,” Messer said. “These decisions should be made by states, local educators and families, not federal bureaucrats on a partisan crusade. I’m relieved to see President Trump reversing yet another glaring Obama overreach and putting our kids ahead of political ideology.”

In 2016 after the Obama bathroom directive was issued, Messer authored the PUBLIC School Act to ensure that decisions regarding gender identity and the use of school bathrooms and locker rooms were made at the state and local level. If passed, the bill also would have prevented the Obama administration from withholding federal funds to schools that failed to comply with the directive. 

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Under Messer-Larsen Bill, Veterans Could Use Post 9/11 GI Benefits to Cover Higher Education Application Fees

2017/02/22

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017) — Reps. Luke Messer (R-IN-06) and Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) are seeking to reduce the financial burden on veterans pursuing higher education by making application fees eligible under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

While the Post 9/11 GI Bill provides important educational benefits, the cost of applications to colleges, graduate schools, and technical and vocational schools – which can run into the hundreds of dollars – are not covered.

Messer and Larsen’s bipartisan Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2017 would allow the Post 9/11 GI Bill to cover up to $750 of applications to colleges, universities, graduate schools, as well as technical and vocational schools.

“College application fees can quickly add up and pose an unexpected financial barrier to education,” Messer said. “Our goal is to give veterans as much flexibility and as many options as possible to help them transition from serving our country to earning a degree. This is one small way to do that.”

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, college application costs average close to $40, with some running as high as $90. Graduate school applications can be even more expensive, costing as much as $275.

“Veterans should not miss out on higher education because of the cost of application fees,” said Larsen, a senior member on the House Armed Services Committee. “This bill will ensure application fees do not prevent veterans from taking full advantage of educational opportunities made possible by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.”

The Post 9/11 GI Bill already covers the fees for professional certification, licensing and aptitude tests, like the ACT, LSAT, etc.  H.R. 1206 would add college application fees to the list of coverage options.

Messer and Larsen introduced the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act of 2017, H.R. 1206, yesterday.

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House Passes Rep. Messer’s Effort to Overturn Obama Rule Forcing States to Fund Abortion Providers

2017/02/16

WASHINGTON (Thursday,  Feb. 16, 2017) — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a legislative effort championed by Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) that would overturn an Obama regulation forcing states to distribute public tax dollars to abortion providers.

The Department of Health and Human Services rule, finalized just weeks before the end of former President Obama’s term, prevented states from withholding Title X “family planning” grants to facilities that provide abortion, like Planned Parenthood.

Messer authored H.J. Res 39 and co-sponsored H.J. Res 43, two identical bills that would reverse the rule and allow states, like Indiana, to make the judgement call not to direct public tax dollars to the abortion industry. H.J. Res 43 passed the House today.

“A majority of Americans agree that tax dollars should not be used to fund abortion, and yet former President Obama continued to find ways to ignore this consensus and impose his will on the people,” Messer said. “Today Congress stood up for states and citizens, ensuring these sensitive decisions are made by them and not dictated by Washington. I will continue to fight for states’ rights as well as policies that protect life.”

Messer was a leader in the effort to repeal this rule, calling on Congress to make this a priority back in December.  He garnered broad support for the effort, including nearly 140 members of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as advocacy groups like March for Life, National Right to Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family and Indiana Right to Life.

“No state should be coerced into supporting the abortion industry. We applaud Rep. Messer’s efforts to stop the flow of our tax dollars to Planned Parenthood and any organization that profits from the destruction of innocent, human life,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life.

H.J. Res 43 must now pass the Senate to be sent to the President’s desk and become law. 

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Rep. Messer Statement on U.S.-Israel Relationship

2017/02/15

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) issued the following statement today following President Trump’s meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It is great to see that Israel once again has a champion in the White House. Israel is our most important friend in the region, and among America’s best partners in the world. I’m glad President Trump is protecting this important relationship and strongly affirming that the American people stand with Israel.”

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Rep. Messer Urges President Trump to Take Executive Action on Tax Loophole Allowing Billions in Payments to Illegal Immigrants

2017/02/11

WASHINGTON (Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017) – Today Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take executive action on a tax credit loophole that allows billions of dollars in payments to illegal immigrants.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) provide American families $1,000 per child as a federal tax benefit, but the program is wrought with fraud.  That’s because this benefit can be claimed without a valid Social Security Number by using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued to individuals regardless of immigration status.

A 2014 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report estimated that between $5.9 and $7.1 billion was being paid out a year to illegal immigrants and individuals illegally claiming children through the Additional Child Tax Credit. A 2011 report estimated that $4.2 billion was going just to illegal immigrants.

In 2012, WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis produced an investigative series that found undocumented workers were not only claiming this tax credit, but claiming it for kids that weren’t even living in the United States.

“Most Americans are astonished to learn that each year billions of taxpayer dollars are given out to people who are in our country illegally,” Messer said. “This is just one example of how our broken tax and immigration systems continue to incentivize immigrants to come here illegally. It’s long past time to change it.”

Messer authored legislation last month to address this issue. His proposal, H.R. 363, would ensure that only taxpayers with a valid Social Security Number are able to claim the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

While Congress works to enact this legislation, Messer urged President Trump to consider executive action to protect U.S. taxpayers by:

  •       Directing the Treasury Department to prohibit the IRS from allowing any individuals to claim the CTC or the ACTC who do not have a SSN that is valid for employment.

  •       Directing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to designate the CTC and the ACTC program as a high-priority program to subject the program to greater levels of oversight and review.

 

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Rep. Messer Statement on Betsy DeVos Confirmation Vote

2017/02/07

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) issued the following statement today following the Senate’s vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education:

“Betsy DeVos has dedicated her life to helping improve educational opportunities for America’s kids. She will bring a much-needed dose of innovation and passion to the Department of Education. I am excited to work with Betsy DeVos to bring real reforms to America’s schools, and put control back in the hands of parents and local educators where it belongs.”

Messer serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional School Choice Caucus

Messer recently authored legislation, the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Students Act, which would empower states to expand school choice opportunities for students. 

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Rep. Messer Honors Life of Stan Jones in Congressional Record

2017/02/07

WASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) honored the life of Indiana’s Stan Jones with a Congressional Record entry on Monday, following Jones’ recent passing.

Stan Jones was the founder of Complete College America, and served as an Indiana State Representative and as the Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education for 12 years –spanning four different governors from different political parties.

Messer described Mr. Jones as “a policy leader who dedicated his life to providing better educational opportunities for Hoosier kids."  

Messer also recognized Jones’ work on several landmark education policy initiatives in Indiana, including the 21st Century Scholars program, Indiana’s current community college system, Indiana’s Education Roundtable, the Core 40 college prep curriculum and high school drop-out reforms.

Messer’s full Congressional Record Entry honoring Stan Jones is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a dear friend of mine - a policy leader who dedicated his life to providing better educational opportunities for Hoosier kids.  His work spanned decades. I am speaking of Indiana's own - Stan Jones. 

Most recently, Stan founded Complete College America in order to build a network of states committed to substantially increasing the number of Americans with a postsecondary credential.

Earlier in his career, Stan was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives at age 24. As a member of both the House Education and State Budget committees, he developed expertise in higher education and higher-education finance. All told, Stan served 16 years in the Indiana state legislature and more than five years as a senior advisor to Governor Evan Bayh. 

His service as Indiana commissioner for higher education spanned 12 years and the tenure of four different governors from both political parties.  As commissioner, he was credited as a primary architect of several landmark education policy initiatives in Indiana. These initiatives included the 21st Century Scholars program, an early promise scholarship program aimed at increasing the number of low-income students attending and completing a postsecondary education; the development of Indiana’s new community college system; the creation of Indiana’s Education Roundtable; and the implementation of Core 40, a college prep curriculum that has contributed to a significant increase in high school seniors going to college.

Stan was also instrumental in the high school drop-out reform legislation that I authored as a state legislator a decade ago.  Those reforms helped drive Indiana's extraordinary progress with its statewide graduation rate improving to nearly 90% - an almost 20% increase from a decade before.  

It is no exaggeration to say those reform ideas were hatched over cheeseburgers and fries at Loughmiller's Pub & Eatery right across from the Indiana State Capitol.  And truth be told, Stan had the ideas, and I simply worked to implement them. 

Another great Hoosier, former champion UCLA basketball head coach John Wooden once said, "it's amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets credit." At his very core, Stan Jones exemplified that ideal!

You will be missed, my friend.”

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Rep. Messer Re-Introduces Legislation Empowering States to Expand School Choice Opportunities

2017/02/02

WASHINGTON (Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) announced today he has re-introduced legislation that would empower states to expand school choice opportunities for students.

Messer’s bill, the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Students Act, would give states the option to allow $14.5 billion in Title I federal money to follow 11 million low-income children to the public or private school of their choice.   

“Our country continues to pour money into an education system that too often fails its students,” Messer said. “This is particularly true for kids in urban, low-income communities who are trapped in poorly performing schools with no way out.  The status quo isn’t working for these kids. It’s time for more innovation and more options for parents.”

Messer’s legislation also provides parents more tools to invest in their child’s education by:

  • Allowing 529 education savings accounts funds to be used for qualified pre-K to 12th grade education expenses, in addition to college expenses
  • Eliminating the $2,000 contribution cap on Coverdell education savings accounts 
  • Allowing Coverdell accounts to be used for qualified home school education expenses

“The reality is school choice currently exists for those in our country who can afford it,” Messer said. “Now, the real question is are we going to provide that opportunity for everyone else?”

Today Messer joined the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education for a school choice hearing to examine how federal policies can support innovative education options and discuss ways to extend school choice opportunities to more students.

Last week during National School Choice Week, Messer led a School Choice Rally on Capitol Hill. 

Photos of the Rally are available here, and a video of Rep. Messer discussing school choice is available here.

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Rep. Messer Statement on President Trump’s SCOTUS Nomination

2017/02/01

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) issued the following statement today following President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.

"Judge Gorsuch is a distinguished jurist and an excellent pick by President Trump to succeed Justice Scalia.  Judge Gorsuch is clearly qualified for the job, and his nomination will help ensure we have a court that upholds our Constitution, acts with judicial restraint, and defends the individual liberties of every American. He should be quickly confirmed."

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Rep. Messer Files Legislation to Overturn Obama Rule Forcing States to Fund Abortion Providers

2017/01/30

WASHINGTON (Monday,  Jan. 30, 2017) — Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) filed legislation today to overturn a midnight regulation pushed through in the waning days of Obama’s administration that would force states to distribute public tax dollars to abortion providers.

The Department of Health and Human Services rule would prevent states from withholding Title X “family planning” grants to facilities that provide abortion, like Planned Parenthood.

Messer’s resolution of disapproval filed today, H.J.Res. 39, would reverse the Department of Health and Human Services rule under the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress 60 days to reject proposed federal agency rules.

“This rule was one of several last-ditch attempts by former President Obama to ignore the will of the people and ramrod his agenda through before leaving office,” Messer said. “Congress now has the opportunity to reverse these damaging actions, restore states’ rights, and defend those who do not want public tax dollars to support the abortion industry.”

Messer’s resolution of disapproval is sponsored by at least 133 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including several members of the Indiana delegation – Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03), Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08), Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09), Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02).

The legislation also has support from several advocacy groups including March for Life, National Right to Life, Indiana Right to Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family.

“No state should be coerced into supporting the abortion industry. We applaud Rep. Messer’s efforts to stop the flow of our tax dollars to Planned Parenthood and any organization that profits from the destruction of innocent, human life,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017 (H.R. 7).

H.R. 7 applies the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funded abortions, uniformly across federal programs, including Obamacare.

“A majority of Americans – more than 60 percent – agree that tax dollars should not be used to fund abortion,” Messer said. “H.R. 7 affirms this sound policy decision as the law of the land by making the Hyde Amendment permanent and government wide. I will continue to fight for policy that protects people’s deeply held convictions on this issue and upholds the sanctity of life.”

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Repealing Obama Rule Forcing States to Fund Abortion Providers

2017-02-16 21:21:48


Rep. Luke Messer Talks School Choice Week

2017-01-25 18:02:34


Keeping Our Promise

2017-01-13 22:35:12


Repeal and Replace Obamacare

2017-01-13 19:05:26


House Passes Messer’s Amendment to Rein in Federal Regulations

2017-01-09 16:12:24


Rep Messer Stands with Israel

2017-01-09 15:59:27


Rep Messer Honors Indiana's Bicentennial

2016-12-09 19:33:25


Rep Messer: Hyde Amendment Saves Lives

2016-09-30 20:30:17


Congressman Luke Messer: "Not one American life is worth the risk."

2016-09-15 21:33:41


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


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

Jim Banks

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Todd Rokita

INDIANA's 4th DISTRICT

Susan Brooks

INDIANA's 5th DISTRICT

Larry Bucshon

INDIANA's 8th DISTRICT

Trey Hollingsworth

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT

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