WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today announcing his co-sponsorship of H.R. 529, legislation introduced this week to expand, modernize, and strengthen tax-free 529 college savings plans.
“Even though President Obama has now abandoned his reckless idea to punish middle-income families by taxing 529 college saving plans, those of us in Congress who want to protect hardworking Americans from new taxes must remain vigilant. These savings plans make it easier for millions of households to send their children to college, which encourages more students to pursue higher education, which in turn puts young adults on a stronger path to rewarding careers. This bipartisan bill strengthens and updates this massively popular savings tool so that our nation’s families and students can continue to benefit from it.”
NOTE: The importance and popularity of 529 college savings plans have grown substantially as more and more middle-income families are using them to save for college. Since the bipartisan creation of Section 529 in 1996, these plans have expanded to nearly 12 million accounts and have resulted in college savings of more than $225 billion for American families. The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program consists of 13 different investment plans and helps Pennsylvanians keep pace with increasingly expensive college tuition.
H.R. 529 makes three important improvements to 529 savings plans, enhancing what is a successful model for helping students attend college. It achieves the following:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in support of a series of bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking which were passed by the House of Representatives this afternoon with unanimous support.
“Today I was proud to stand with a united House of Representatives in support of these bipartisan bills to stop human trafficking and save the victims of this evil scourge. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue but a full-fledged American issue. This mission is an urgent moral priority for decent people of all nations, especially the United States—the greatest defender of liberty and human dignity the world has ever known. After all, this crime is not a faraway problem only plaguing other places but a growing cancer right here in America, including in Western Pennsylvania. Even as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to an end, our fight will continue until 21st century slavery is stamped out forever.”
Today’s House-passed anti-trafficking bills:
Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act (H.R. 350), sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), directs the existing Interagency Task Force established under the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act to review federal and state activities to prevent children from becoming trafficking victims, survey academic research on the topic, and propose best practices. The bill also directs the Government Accountability Office to review federal and state efforts, including federal grants, to combat human trafficking, and clarifies that existing grants may be used to provide shelter services to trafficking victims.
Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act (H.R. 159), sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), encourages states to establish safe harbor laws so that trafficked minors can seek protective services and counseling as victims, without fear of facing jail and being targeted as part of the problem.
Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (H.R. 181), sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), boosts support and protection for domestic human trafficking victims. The bill also makes improvements to current law, such as increasing and streamlining law enforcement resources, enhancing victims’ services, and holding both sellers and buyers engaged in sex trafficking accountable.
Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act (H.R. 285), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), criminalizes those who knowingly advertise for the commercial exploitation of children and trafficking victims.
Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act (H.R. 398), sponsored by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), develops evidence-based best practices for health care workers to identify and assist victims of human trafficking.
Human Trafficking Detection Act (H.R. 460), sponsored by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), directs the Homeland Security Secretary to train Department of Homeland Security personnel how to effectively deter, detect, disrupt, and prevent human trafficking during the course of their primary roles and responsibilities.
Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R. 469), sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), improves practices within state child welfare systems to identify and document sex trafficking cases.
To improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking (H.R. 246), sponsored by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), updates the statute to use the term “child sex trafficking, including child prostitution” for cybertipline reporting to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
More information about human trafficking in Pennsylvania:
Trafficking resources in Pennsylvania:
The Office of Protection From Abuse – Erie County Courthouse Erie, PA 814-451-6324http://www.eriecountygov.org/courts/family-court/protection-from-abuse.aspx
Crime Victim Center Erie, PA 814-455-9414 or 1-800-352-7273http://www.cvcerie.org/
Project to End Human Trafficking Pittsburgh, PAhttp://www.endhumantrafficking.org/
Freedom and Restoration for Everyone Enslaved (FREE) Reading, PAhttp://www.freefromht.org
York County Task Force on Human Trafficking York, PA 717-845-2631 Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-422-3204 Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-262-8444http://www.ywcayork.org/
Covenant House Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 215-951-5411http://www.covenanthousepa.org
Dawn's Place Philadelphia, PA 215-849-2396http://www.ahomefordawn.org
Nationalities Service Center Philadelphia, PA 215-893-8400http://www.nscphila.org/
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) announced several staff changes and appointments for the 114th Congress which began earlier this month. These changes are detailed below.
Washington, DC, Operations:
Third District Operations:
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“I’m very excited about the team we have in place for the 114th Congress. They each bring unique experience to the constituents of the Third District and will serve our communities with the utmost professionalism.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, which was passed by the House this afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 242-170.
Highlight’s of Rep. Kelly’s remarks:
“The real debate on the floor today is about life. We are talking about life in the People’s House, on the floor of the People’s House. We are talking about a gift from God. We’re talking about something that was so well put into our Declaration of Independence. I’m talking about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—the first of those being life.”
“I understand that there is a serious debate… but expectant mothers and unborn children have got to be protected. In our own country, we have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the loss of 56 million unborn children. These are lives that were lost that did not have to be lost. … It may be legal, but I don’t think it’s right. … How we have demeaned this and reduced it down to a political discussion is absolutely abhorrent. Never… never has this country turned its back on the most vulnerable.”
“I have been there for the birth of my four children. I have ten grandchildren now. I have also held the hands of my mother, my father, and my sister as they died. There is nothing more precious than life. There is just nothing more precious than that. I ask all my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 7. Answer the American people who say, ‘We do not want to fund abortion.’ End this debate, and let’s move forward.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly participated in the 2015 March for Life held earlier today in Washington, DC, and co-hosted a special reception in the Senate Russell Office Building for attendees from Pennsylvania with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Republican members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement tonight in response to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address.
“Tonight President Obama had a real opportunity to join America’s new Congress on common ground and commit to working with us on serious solutions that most Americans want. Unfortunately, the president blew this opportunity. Instead of addressing the members of Congress that sat in front of him, he seemed to be addressing a Congress that no longer exists. While the president certainly spoke loud and clear, he seemed to forget how America spoke last November.
“Last year, after President Obama rightly claimed that his policies were ‘on the ballot,’ the American people overwhelmingly rejected those policies by ending his party’s control of the Senate. After six years of the Obama administration’s failed, out-of-touch leadership, Americans elected a new Congress that shares their top priorities: making the economy stronger and paving the way for new jobs with better pay for hardworking families and individuals. Sadly, the proposals in tonight’s speech ignore those priorities and represent a step backward. Simply put, America did not elect this new unified Congress to raise taxes or give more power to Washington.
“In particular, President Obama’s ‘plan’ to increase taxes by $320 billion is both unrealistic and unserious. If he were truly serious about this idea, then he would have proposed it during his first six years in office, especially when his party controlled both chambers of Congress. Instead of higher taxes and an inevitably slower economy, hardworking Americans deserve commonsense, pro-growth tax reform that makes our nation’s tax code fairer and simpler with lower rates. My colleagues and I on the Ways and Means committee are already at the table, ready to work with the president to get there.
“Going forward, Americans expect the president to work with Congress as it is, not as he wishes it to be, and to put the nation’s priorities ahead of scoring political points with his base. He can begin by supporting the popular, bipartisan pieces of legislation already passed by the House – and eventually the Senate – that will improve economic opportunities for the families and individuals who need them most.”
NOTE: According to the most recent Department of Labor unemployment report, 8.7 million Americans remain out of work. The unemployment rate for those without jobs and those involuntarily working part-time stands at 11.2 percent. The national labor force participation rate has fallen to 62.7 percent, the lowest level since 1978, which means 92.8 million Americans are currently out of the workforce.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding his support for two pro-growth pieces of legislation which were passed by the House of Representatives this week with bipartisan support. The first, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 185), was passed on Tuesday by 250-175. The second, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act (H.R. 37), was passed today by 271-154.
“The American people’s top priorities are this Congress’s top priorities, and at the top of the list is economic growth and new job creation. This week we took bipartisan action to get Washington out of the way of small businesses that are ready to go grow and put more Americans back to work. As a small business owner myself, I know full well how burdensome federal red tape can be and what it costs to both employers and employees alike. After all, it’s not Washington that creates jobs—it’s small businesses, like the ones we’re lucky to have throughout Western Pennsylvania, and right now so many of them are being affected by regulations that are meant for Wall Street but are hurting Main Street. By cutting costly and useless red tape, we’re putting more businesses on the path to success and more money back in Americans’ pockets.”
NOTE: On July 26, 2012, Rep. Kelly delivered a powerful speech on the floor of the House of Representatives condemning abusive regulations by the federal government that earned a rare standing ovation and nearly one million views on YouTube. The speech can be viewed here.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today regarding last night’s passage of H.R. 33, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, in the House of Representatives. The bill was passed by a unanimous vote of 401-0 following a speech on the House floor by Rep. Kelly, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, which was originally introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA).
Rep. Kelly on the passage of H.R. 33:
“I am thrilled to see the House once again pass this crucial piece of legislation with unanimous support. Today, there are more than 17,000 all-volunteer fire companies in America. In Pennsylvania alone, 97 percent of our fire companies depend entirely or mostly on volunteers. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who organized the nation’s first volunteer fire company in Philadelphia in 1736, volunteer firefighters continue to heroically respond to fire and other emergencies in the Keystone state and throughout our country. The spirit of Pennsylvania – and indeed, the spirit America – inspires this commonsense solution to one of Obamacare’s most unfortunate consequences. It’s about protecting those who protect us, and it’s another sign that this Congress is truly America’s Congress.”
Highlights from Rep. Kelly’s floor speech:
“People always say, ‘You know, I wish you guys could get along and just get something done.’ This is something that we overwhelmingly believe in and we’re going to get done.”
“In the little town that I grew up in and live in – Butler, Pennsylvania – so many people volunteer their time to do the volunteer firefighting. They’re also the EMS. They’re the first responders. … Last spring, one of our people by the name of Ryan Sekerski, on his way home from work—he’s a volunteer fireman—he ably heard over his scanner that a fuel truck had overturned. This driver was trapped inside that truck. [Mr. Sekerski] then went to the scene of the accident, got his equipment that was in the trunk of his car and got out and saved that driver’s life. These are the people that we are talking about.”
“And when you come to the People’s House – America’s House, America’s Congress – we look at things that we can do together, things that just make sense. And while we may disagree in some other aspects of what it is that we try to get done, on this we are solid. This just makes sense for America. This makes sense for all those who lay their life on the line anytime there’s an emergency or a fire. They do it voluntarily. Hundreds and thousands of hours in training go into this. They spend time away from their families; they spend time away from personal time that they could be doing other things to get trained so that they can help other Americans who may need their help. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s so American. It’s something we look at with a great sense of pride.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) will deliver a live address at the Heritage Foundation as part of the 2015 Conservative Policy Summit hosted by Heritage Action. He will discuss the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which he introduced in the House of Representatives on July 30, 2014, and will re-introduce this year with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). The summit is part of a two-day event featuring public policy discussions with more than 20 lawmakers who are introducing innovative conservative legislation in the 114th Congress. Rep. Kelly will speak during a session titled, “Indivisible: Life, Marriage, Religious Liberty, and Prosperity,” also featuring Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).
* * * Event can be viewed here * * *
WHAT: A public policy address by Rep. Kelly on the Children Welfare Provider Inclusion Act; limited Q&A session to follow
WHO: Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) Address to be immediately followed by policy discussion also featuring: Ryan Anderson — William E. Simon Fellow, The Heritage Foundation Kerri Kupec — Alliance Defending Freedom
DATE: TODAY — Tuesday, January 13, 2015
TIME: 3:00 PM – 3:55 PM
LOCATION: The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE Washington, DC 20002
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in support of H.R. 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which will authorize the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 266-153.
“America’s new Congress hears America loud and clear: It is long past time to finally approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It will create 42,000 American jobs, help our economy, and strengthen our allies. The majority of the American people want it. It’s supported by Democrats and Republicans, businesses and labor organizations, leaders like former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and newspapers across our nation from The Washington Post to USA TODAY. As the editorial board of USA TODAY rightly put it, “On the merits, the Obama administration should long ago have said yes. … But the White House seems to have been paralyzed by its fear of angering ally Canada if it says no or infuriating Democratic environmentalists if it says yes.’ Now that the Nebraska Supreme Court has cleared the way for the pipeline’s construction, the time for excuses and delay has run out. After the Senate follows our lead and passes today’s bill, President Obama must do the right thing and stand with America by approving it.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – delivered remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act, of which he is an original co-sponsor. The bipartisan legislation would repeal the 30-hour definition of “full-time employment” in the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and restore the traditional 40-hour definition. The House passed the bill this afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 252-172.
Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s floor remarks:
“This is America’s Congress. This is not a Republican Congress. This is not a Democrat Congress. It’s America’s Congress.
“Who have you hurt the most with this policy? Women, lower-income, and middle-income people have suffered greatly. How do I know that? Because I’m actually in the job market! I’ve actually hired people! I know the dignity of labor and I know the harm that is being done by this ‘[Affordable] Care Act’ that is totally unaffordable and uncaring.
“We don’t have to dismantle [Obamacare]. It’s falling apart on its own. And in fact it’s so bad that the president won’t even enforce the full law until after an election. Please tell me politics didn’t have anything to do with that.
“Let’s do what’s right for the American people for a change and quit trying to posture upon some kind of a political stance that is just based on fantasy.”
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.
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