WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – co-chairman of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition and a member of the Great Lakes Taskforce – issued the following statement today in support of H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, which was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday evening by a bipartisan vote of 399-25. Through WRDA, Congress authorizes the key missions of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and addresses the needs of American harbors, locks, dams, flood protection, and other water infrastructure critical to the nation’s economic competiveness. It accomplishes these tasks in a fiscally responsible way by establishing sunset dates for new authorizations as well as de-authorizing $10 billion in unnecessary projects, which will fully offset the same amount in new authorizations contained in the legislation.
“I am thrilled that the People’s House has once again passed WRDA in such an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner. This bill will strengthen our economy, protect our water resource infrastructure, and secure the 13 million American jobs that depend on our nation’s ports and waterways. The Great Lakes contain one fifth of the entire world’s fresh water and supply drinking water to 40 million people; if they were collectively their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest economy. Protecting them is not just a civic or economic duty but a moral duty upon which our country’s very strength, competitiveness, and greatness depend.
“For Western Pennsylvanians, WRDA’s benefits are always very close to home. Its authorization of lock and dam projects on the Upper Ohio River will spur job creation throughout the region for years to come. It will guarantee that our port in Erie remains properly maintained, which will make it possible for everyone at Donjon’s shipyard in Erie can keep doing their job. It will ensure that Presque Isle’s pristine beaches are protected, which will keep tourists coming and commerce flowing. Overall, three of the Third District’s most important industries – tourism, manufacturing, and energy – are directly impacted and supported by this extremely important legislation.”
Specific Benefits in WRDA 2016 for Pennsylvania’s Third District:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) released a video statement today after both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to override President Obama’s veto of S. 2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which will allow the families of American victims of terrorist attacks to sue foreign states that aid and abet acts of terror that occur on U.S. soil.
Rep. Kelly: “…We are truly stronger when we stand together as a nation. We are truly stronger when we stand together as a people. And we are truly stronger when we stand up against terrorism.…”Read More
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in today’s Health Subcommittee hearing on exploring the use of technology and innovation to create efficiencies, higher quality, and better access for beneficiaries in health care. At the hearing, Rep. Kelly formally welcomed and introduced Michael Gallup, president of the Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies, Inc., who later provided expert witness testimony before the subcommittee.
Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s remarks:
“When I first ran for office, I was really trying to champion what we do in the private sector, and I had people constantly tell me, ‘You know, your problem, Kelly, is you don’t get it. Look, the government can’t be run the way the private sector is run.’ And I said, ‘No, it’s just the opposite. It’s the antithesis. The private sector can’t possibly run the way a government does.’”
“Here’s where the rubber meets the road: It’s not about the money that we spend. It’s about the money we spend that’s used inefficiently and ineffectively.”
“I don’t understand how people can indulge in deficit spending, not year after year, but decade after decade, and build a long term debt that we know is going to sink our country and say, ‘You know, the problem is we’re just not extracting enough money from hardworking American taxpayers. These people are gonna have to cough up more money to support our inefficiencies.’”
“Is it about policy? Yes. But more importantly, it’s about people. It is about people.”
“It is hard for me to sit here and look at who we are and where we have been. We can put a guy on the moon but we can’t get him through the emergency room. We can invent the Internet but we can’t get people through the hospital system. What is wrong with us? Look at the spending. It isn’t for lack of investment.”
“It’s only over when we decide it’s over. It’s our ability to stick to the message and stick on course and make sure that we fight this to the very end. This is a win for every single American—it does not matter to me how they’re registered, by the way. We can win this battle. The big thing is we just have to refuse to lose. We can win, and we can win for every single American.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement today in recognition of this Sunday’s 15th anniversary of the al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, as well as the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
“Fifteen years ago this Sunday, Americans awoke in one world and went to sleep in another. Illusions of perfect safety between two giant oceans were shattered as pure evil revealed its hideous face and took the lives of 3,000 innocent civilians in an unthinkable act of terror. History once again summoned our nation to rise up and defend our way of life from those who would take it all away. From the passengers above the sky in Pennsylvania to our troops on the battlefield today, brave American patriots have been answering the call of duty ever since.
“The terrorists we face on so many fronts today pose radical new challenges but are making the same mistake as our adversaries of the last century: they assume that free men and women will cower and surrender to fear and violence as they advance their evil agenda; they assume spectacularly wrong. The American spirit inhabits every citizen, past and present, and will always illuminate our great republic to shine through even the darkest of times.
“On this solemn anniversary, I pray for God to bless the souls of those we lost and their families, and that we never forget the lessons of that tragic day of infamy.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives authorizing the Speaker of the House to “initiate or intervene in a civil action regarding the compliance of the executive branch with the provision of law prohibiting relinquishment of the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with respect to Internet domain name system functions.” The resolution, H. Res. 853, is a response to the Obama administration’s decision to “transition” stewardship of the Internet’s critical functions – long safeguarded by the U.S. government – to “the global multi-stakeholder community” despite prohibitions enacted by Congress against NTIA using taxpayer funds to do so before 2017.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“As a nation, we have a duty to preserve Internet freedom for Americans and for the world. As a governing body, we have a duty to uphold our Constitution’s separation of powers and to protect our own ‘power of the purse’ as intended by our founders, as well as our sole power to dispose of federal property. This resolution will help achieve all of these objectives by formally authorizing Speaker Ryan to take this administration to court if it follows through with its irresponsible plan to let our country’s stewardship of the Internet expire at the end of this month. Such a rushed transition puts the Internet at serious risk of falling under the influence of bad actors abroad who despise the free flow of information. The American people’s Congress has prohibited this hasty surrender in law and the administration must follow it.”
Excerpts of letter from 25 organizations to House and Senate leaders urging lawsuit:
Our Constitution rests on the idea that the “Power of the Purse” belongs to Congress, not the President — because, as Elbridge Gerry put it at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the House is “more immediately the representatives of the people and ... the people ought to hold the purse-strings.” The House fought to defend this core democratic principle in 2014, when it sued over implementing the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies that weren’t appropriated by Congress. Now, the Administration appears determined to violate clear appropriations prohibiting the transition of the Internet domain system without authorization. If the Administration does not relent, Congress should sue.
Congress should make clear that it will sue to enforce the funding prohibition. As it did in 2014, the House needs to vote to authorize Speaker Ryan to sue to defend its Article I powers — not only the Power of the Purse but also the sole right to dispose of federal property, which the IANA function may well be. A federal court could issue a writ of mandamus, ordering NTIA to exercise the option to renew the contract, or a declaratory judgment that, if the IANA contract terminates, the IANA function contract rights revert to NTIA, not to ICANN. Such a ruling could effectively unwind the Transition.
Suing to enforce the appropriations rider and extending it through FY2017 are amply justified by the extraordinary importance of the Constitutional principle at stake. Members of both parties should be able to unite around defending the Power of the Purse, the most fundamental Constitutional power of the American People’s elected representatives. If enacted legislation is no longer considered binding, a fundamental check on Executive power will have been lost. Legislators also have a solemn responsibility to future generations to ensure that the future of the Internet is not placed at risk by prematurely ending U.S. oversight. We urge you act promptly.
NOTE: On May 25, 2016, Rep. Kelly introduced the Securing America's Internet Domains (SAID) Act of 2016 (H.R. 5329), which requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to certify that the U.S. government has secured sole ownership of the .gov and .mil top-level domains before it can transfer the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the global multistakeholder community. Specifically, this certification requires that the U.S. government has entered into a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that provides that the U.S. has full, exclusive control and use of such domains in perpetuity.
On May 12, 2015, Rep. Kelly introduced the Defending Internet Freedom Act of 2015 (H.R. 2251), which would prohibit NTIA from relinquishing the critical functions of the Internet to any other entity without enhanced congressional oversight and until every freedom-protecting accountability requirement defined in the bill is completely satisfied.
On June 11, 2014, Rep. Kelly authored a guest opinion piece for Red Alert Politics describing the stakes of surrendering American stewardship of the Internet to a multinational body or any other entity.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the death of Phyllis Schlafly, longtime conservative activist and president and founder of Eagle Forum.
“I join millions of Americans in mourning the passing of Phyllis Schlafly, an indispensable leader and trailblazer of the conservative movement. Her influence in advancing the pro-life cause and protecting families from the radical left’s agenda cannot be overstated. The policies she championed were defined by her love of life, liberty, family, and country, and she always remembered the stakes of surrendering our nation’s deepest values and traditions to any foe. After seven incredible decades of fighting the good fight, Mrs. Schlafly now rests in peace with the gratitude of countless citizens who will no doubt carry on her legacy with pride.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly’s legislation to protect American stewardship of the Internet (introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses) was strongly endorsed by Eagle Forum. Mrs. Schlafly personally voiced her strong support for the issue one week after the initial bill’s introduction.
The Islamic Republic provocatively detained 10 American sailors in January of this year“There is nothing to celebrate today — unless you’re Iran”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today on the first anniversary of the finalization of the Obama administration’s agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“There is nothing to celebrate on the first anniversary of President Obama’s legacy-first deal with Iran — unless you’re Iran. Instead, there is every reason to remain concerned and outraged. This deal was historically dangerous then, and is historically dangerous now. Despite all of this administration’s spin, Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and is still committed to the spread of anti-American radicalism and the annihilation of Israel. Despite receiving billions of American dollars in sanctions relief, this rogue nation spent the past year violating international law and going out of its way to humiliate our country. From its illegal ballistic missile tests to forcing captured Americans on their knees before video camera, it is painfully clear that Iran is still unworthy of the free world’s trust or respect. Just as it was President Obama’s desperation and weakness that brought us to this point, only a new president unafraid to stand down our enemies can undo this deal and reassert America’s position of strength.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly voted today for the Iran Accountability Act (H.R. 5631), which was passed by the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 246-179. The legislation will block the Obama administration from granting further concessions to the Iranian government and hold the Islamic Republic accountable for its illicit behavior.
BACKGROUND: Last year Rep. Kelly publicly expressed vocal opposition to the Iran nuclear deal on several occasions. In September, he supported H. Res. 411, a resolution finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, and H.R. 3460, a bill which would have suspended until January 21, 2017, the authority of the President to waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of Iran.
Rep. Kelly is an original co-sponsor of the No Ex-Im Financing for Iran Act (H.R. 5608), which will prohibit taxpayer money from being used by the Export-Import Bank to directly or indirectly support Iran or any company it owns.
A timeline of events documenting the Iranian government’s illicit behavior over the past year can be found here.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in today’s full committee hearing on the rising costs of health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s exchange with the expert witness panel:
Rep. Kelly: “I come from the private sector and I was not here whenever the health care law was debated and then passed, but I can tell you as a person who actually provides insurance for the people that I work with, we’ve seen premiums — this is for a family, a mom and dad with a couple children — it’s gone from about $800 a month to about $1,150 a month. Now, I’m understanding that some of the people that I represent, some of their increases are going to be 38 to 40 percent. … And then the question comes down to [the kind of thinking that says:] ‘Well, that’s not as big of a problem on the premiums because there are going to be subsidies that are going to take care of that. So, Mr. White, Mr. Condeluci, Mr. Harte, Mr. Lee: who’s going to pay for the subsidies?
Joel White — President, Council for Affordable Health Coverage: “The taxpayers will, and that’s the problem, right? We’re shifting costs, we’re not lowering them. We need some strategies to lower the cost.”
Rep. Kelly: “At the end of the day, somebody still has to pick up the tab on it. The answer is hardworking American taxpayers. … We are putting such a heavy burden on the private sector right now and the people that provide this — [I know] because I’m one of them. I provide that for the people I work with. … So the sustainability of it is where we have to go on this and that’s where I’m seeing the disconnect.”
Christopher Condeluci — Principal, CC Law & Policy PLLC: “Correct, because as the premiums go up, the government shields those premium increases in the form of higher government spending … so there is a tension between increased premiums, how the subsidy works, and how they shield consumers from those premium increases. It’s not the consumer that’s generally experiencing that premium increase. Instead, it’s the government and at a point you might have, an unsustainable situation from a spending perspective.”
Rep. Kelly: “Now, we keep using the term ‘the government.’ The government doesn’t pick up the tab on anything. The government collects money from hardworking American taxpayers and redeploys it where the government thinks it should go.”
Rep. Kelly: “Mr. Harte, if you could just weigh in… This is an unsustainable business model. It has nothing to do with wanting to provide people with health care. It’s at a point that it’s going to reach that we can’t do it and taxpayers can’t be burdened every time we decide we want to do something.”
Tom Harte — President, Landmark Benefits, NH: “They simply can’t afford it. You know, you’re absolutely right, those subsidies are coming from my business, from my employees, from your employees, and everyone across the country to pay for these taxes. … And just to clarify, Mr. Chairman, my reference to ‘government’ was ‘taxpayers.’”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement today regarding the deadly shootings that occurred during a peaceful protest yesterday evening in Dallas, Texas, in which five police officers were murdered and others were injured.
“My heart truly aches for the heroic police officers tragically killed in Dallas during last night's despicable attack. Law enforcement everywhere deserves our unequivocal support, now more than ever. All of this week's victims of violence, and their families, will remain deep in my prayers. With every loss of precious life, the fabric of our great country tears. As we pray for a return to peace, order, and civility, let us also commit to bridging our differences and restoring the unity that we have sadly lost. Let us remember that even in our darkest times, we are all blessed to call ourselves Americans.”
1519 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Mike Kelly was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Butler, PA, where he has lived for the past 53 years. After graduating from Butler High School in 1966, Mike attended the University of Notre Dame on a football and academic scholarship. After college, Mike moved back to Butler to work at Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc., a company founded by his father in the early 1950s. Mike took ownership of the dealership in the mid-1990s, expanding its operations to include Hyundai and KIA franchises.
Mike currently employs over 100 people from the region, and is a leader in the local and national automotive industry. Mike has served as Chairman of the Hyundai Eastern Region Dealer Council, Vice Chairman of the Hyundai National Dealer Council, and has served on the boards of the Chevrolet Dealers Advertising Association of Pittsburgh and the Cadillac Consultants of Western Pennsylvania. In addition, Mike was Secretary and Treasurer of the Hyundai initiative “Hope on Wheels,” which has donated over $58 million to childhood cancer research institutions nationwide.
Mike was a Butler City councilman, and has sat on the boards of several local and civic organizations, including the Housing Authority of Butler County, the Redevelopment Authority of Butler County, and the Moraine Trails Council of Boys Scouts of America. In recognition of Mike’s extensive volunteer and charitable work, Catholic Charities gave Mike the Mary DeMucci Award and the Mayor of Butler designated October 26, 2001 as “Mike Kelly Day” for his commitment to his hometown.
Dedicated to improving education, Mike founded the Butler Quarterback Club and The Golden Tornado Scholastic Foundation, which provides unique and innovative educational programs for students in the Butler Area School District. Mike and his wife, Victoria, a former elementary school teacher, also established the Mary McTighe Kelly Creative Teaching Grant for elementary educators and the Lighthouse Foundation’s One Warm Coat Program, which helped collect over 500 winter coats for students in need in the Butler community.
Mike and Victoria have four children: George III, Brendan, Charlotte and Colin; and are the proud grandparents to George IV, Vivian, Elizabeth, Helena, Elaina, Maeve and Victoria. Mike’s family and friends were with him on January 5, 2011, when Mike was sworn into office as the U.S. Representative of the 3rd Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Mike looks forward to representing the interests and voicing the concerns of the 3rd District, especially as they relate to Mike’s work on the House Committee on Ways and Means.