Luke Messer

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Lawmaker urges for more to be done on Ebola

2014/10/20

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

2014/10/17

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?

2014/10/06

“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

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

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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.”


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Susan Brooks

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Larry Bucshon

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Todd Young

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