WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the Conference Report to Accompany S. 2943, also known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, compromise legislation with the U.S. Senate which will fully fund the United States Armed Forces and ensure that American troops have the resources required to successfully defend the homeland and achieve their missions abroad. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives earlier today by a bipartisan vote of 375-34. It includes an amendment offered annually by Rep. Kelly to prohibit funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) for the implementation of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
“The People’s House has once again fulfilled its sacred duty to provide our nation’s defenders and warfighters with the resources they need to defeat our enemies and defend freedom around the world. Among other features, this NDAA includes the largest pay raise for our troops in six years. Additionally, I am very glad that my colleagues once again unanimously approved my commonsense amendment to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to undermine our sovereignty, harm our allies, or threaten our Second Amendment rights through the dangerous UN ATT. I look forward to the president signing this legislation to keep all Americans safe.”
BACKGROUND: Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the movement to stop the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution expressing opposition to the treaty on behalf of members of Congress. The resolution earned 149 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate. On May 30, 2013, Rep. Kelly submitted a bipartisan letter with 130 co-signers from Congress to both President Obama and Secretary Kerry urging them to reject the treaty. He sent a similar bipartisan letter to the president following Secretary Kerry’s signing of the treaty on October 15, 2013, which was signed by 181 members of Congress, including multiple committee chairmen. A follow-up letter was sent to the White House on April, 20, 2014.
On September 5, 2014, Rep. Kelly submitted a letter to President Obama voicing opposition to the planned First Conference of State Parties (CSP) to the ATT – a UN-backed gathering to shape the treaty’s future – due to its exclusion of any organizations critical of the treaty.
On March 2, 2015, Rep. Kelly sent a letter to President Obama co-signed by 34 new members of Congress elected in 2014 to express unified opposition to the ATT and a firm commitment to deny any federal funding for the treaty’s implementation.
On May 19, 2016, the House passed H.R. 4909, the House-authored draft of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017, which included Rep. Kelly’s amendment to continue the annual ban on funding by DoD for the implementation of the ATT. The amendment was the strongest version to date, updating the language of Rep. Kelly’s previous amendments that were enacted into law in previous NDAAs.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) issued the following statements today regarding H.R. 6399, the Fixing Medicare Hospital Payments Act of 2016, which they introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this week. The legislation would create a Medicare wage index floor for hospitals in metropolitan areas with populations of two million or more, which would increase Medicare payments to hospitals in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“The current Medicare wage index is an unfair deal for Western Pennsylvania hospitals and their workers. Because the federal government currently assigns hospitals in our area a low wage index, employers throughout the region have to pick up the cost through increased insurance premiums for their employees. With this commonsense bill, a new wage index floor would be created, insurance premiums would decrease, hospital wages would increase, and Western Pennsylvania’s economy would become stronger. Those who provide life-saving care to our neighbors, friends, and loved ones deserve nothing less.”
Statement by Rep. Doyle:
“The current Medicare formula for calculating reimbursements unfairly penalizes hospitals in mid-sized cities like Pittsburgh, and it places unfair pressure on the wages that their hard-working employees receive. This bill would fix that formula to more accurately reflect the actual wages for health care personnel in mid-sized cities. It’s my belief that such a change would make it easier for hospitals in places like Pittsburgh to pay their employees what they deserve.”
BACKGROUND: The Medicare Wage Index is part of the calculation used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine reimbursements for each hospital across the United States. Information on labor costs are submitted to CMS and used to determine a “wage index” for each of the nation’s regions. The Pittsburgh core-based statistical area (CBSA) includes several Western Pennsylvania counties including Butler and Armstrong and consistently has one of the lowest wage indexes in America for major metropolitan areas.
The Medicare Wage Index for Pittsburgh has declined significantly since 1997 and continues to spiral downwards. Because the annual wages paid by hospitals are not as high as other parts of the nation, the Greater Pittsburgh area’s wage index has continually decreased, thus causing hospitals in the region to receive reduced reimbursements from Medicare. This “circularity” in the Pittsburgh CBSA has resulted in the loss of approximately $1 billion to hospitals around Pittsburgh and the region’s economy.
H.R. 6399 would create a metropolitan wage index floor of 0.94 for hospitals in metropolitan areas with a population of two million or more (Pittsburgh’s current wage index is 0.85) and is budget neutral.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today in support of the House Amendment to Senate Amendment to H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives this evening by a bipartisan vote of 392-26. The legislation, sponsored by House Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-WI), is a medical innovation package to improve patient treatments by promoting advancements in technology, eliminating regulations that stifle competition, providing resources to combat the growing opioid epidemic, ensuring critical support for those struggling with mental health, and supporting cutting-edge research and the next generation of scientists. The package includes H.R. 2505, the Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act of 2015, which Rep. Kelly introduced on May 21, 2015, and which was passed unanimously by the House on June 17, 2015. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide an annual report on the program's enrollment data to Congress, and is co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).
“The Cures Act is wide in its reach and dramatic in its impact yet squarely focused on a singular goal: helping American patients beat their diseases and become healthy again. Thanks to this historic package, the future of American health care and medical innovation is brighter than ever. Our moms and dads and sons and daughters who face illnesses, along with the family members who care for them, can take heart that their fight just received brand new life-changing and, we pray, life-saving support.
“I am particularly proud that this powerful legislation includes my House-passed bill to make Medicare Advantage coverage more transparent for the benefit of our nation’s seniors. This bill will bring key Medicare enrollment details into public view and equip lawmakers with important information so that we may make better decisions on behalf of our elderly constituents. I am also very glad to see my friend Rep. Murphy’s transformational mental health reforms included in this package and applaud him for his tireless work in helping carry it past the finish line.”
NOTE: The 21st Century Cures Act achieves the following:
Catalyzes cutting-edge research and personalized drug development.
Modernizes clinical treats and evidence development.
Brings the FDA into the 21st century.
Improves the medical device review process and reduces unnecessary regulation.
Empowers patients to participate in research and development activities.
Incentivizes the development of medical countermeasures and vaccines.
Fosters interoperable health records.
The mental health reforms included in the revised 21st Century Cures Act are based largely on H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, authored by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), which passed the House in July by a vote of 422-2. This legislative effort represents the most significant reforms to the mental health system in more than a decade.
These landmark reforms will:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in support of five pieces of legislation to support American military veterans and reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Each bill was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives yesterday evening, except for H.R. 5047, which is expected to pass today.
“I am very proud to see the People’s House take such strong and united action for our nation’s veterans. Each man and woman who serves our country in uniform deserves the fullest respect and appreciation from every single American. Lawmakers in particular have a sacred duty to defend those who defended us in the legislation we pass, whether it’s to protect their benefits, improve their health care, or help them find work on the homefront. These commonsense bills help us meet all these objectives and make sure the VA is supporting veterans with the utmost care and accountability.”
NOTE: The individual bills passed unanimously by the House (or soon to pass) include:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) announced today that he will host a toll-free telephone town hall meeting next Monday for constituents of the Third District to ask questions and receive answers about the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP). The call will feature expert input from special guests at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
WHAT: A free tele-town hall hosted by Rep. Kelly to discuss Medicare enrollment issues
WHO: Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03)
With special guests:
WHEN: Monday, November 28, 2016
TIME: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
CALL-IN INFORMATION: To participate, dial 877-228-2184 and enter event ID 19013 at the time of the event.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today calling on President-elect Donald Trump to use his executive authority, once in office, to cancel, rescind, and undo all of President Obama’s executive orders, particularly those which have negatively affected American energy, gun rights, health care, immigration, religious liberty, small businesses, and the right to life.
“President-elect Trump has a clear mandate to implement colossal change within the federal government. As he formulates his domestic agenda over the next two months, I encourage him to begin his administration with a powerful, principled, and productive achievement: on the first day of his presidency, Mr. Trump should use his executive authority to end every harmful and unconstitutional executive order previously carried out by President Obama.
“By choosing to circumvent the legislative branch with most of his agenda, President Obama built his far-left legacy upon a hollow foundation. Rather than moderate his policies and work with lawmakers in Congress after the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, the president boasted of his ‘pen and phone’ and declared he would ‘use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions … that move the ball forward.’ Now, after a historic campaign fueled by a nationwide rejection of President Obama’s failed philosophy and polices, a new president will wield that same pen to move the ball forward in a much more hopeful and prosperous direction for all Americans. The majority of America’s Congress will support Mr. Trump in this endeavor.
“A disastrous and divisive agenda that lived by the pen can and should die by the pen. The result will be a stronger economy, rescued livelihoods, and reaffirmed rights. Such decisive leadership would herald a long-awaited new era in Washington and, ultimately, a brighter future for our entire country.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in response to news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has resumed its investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for criminal wrongdoing regarding her e-mail server.
“I applaud the FBI for carrying out its duty and refusing to let illegal activity go unchecked. Hillary Clinton is not above the law—period. Crime is crime, no matter the title or ambition of the person committing it.
“It is already outrageous that our Secretary of State was ‘extremely careless’ with classified information during her service and recklessly put our national security at risk. It is equally shameful and dangerous that this individual is now seeking to occupy the world's most powerful office, the American presidency. As the FBI’s criminal investigation goes forward, I encourage Director Comey and his team to focus on the task at hand and not permit any outside forces to influence his findings, whatever they might be.
“Until this case is closed, I fully support Speaker Ryan’s call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Mrs. Clinton.”
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today in response to news that health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) will increase by 25 percent next year (compared to 7.2 percent this year and 2 percent in 2015) and that more than 20 percent of consumers will be left with only one choice of insurance provider.
“No further proof is needed that Obamacare is an unworkable and unaffordable disaster that should never have been inflicted upon the American people. This is not another partisan issue; this is an emergency. Even Democrats like former President Clinton have admitted that the program is a ‘crazy system’ that ‘doesn’t work’ and ‘doesn’t make sense.’ More than ever, both candidates to replace President Obama have a duty to disavow Obamacare and fully commit to saving Americans from imminent, unfair consequences they don’t deserve. This isn’t a political issue; it’s a moral issue.
“Like most federal lawmakers, my heart constantly aches for the thousands of my constituents who come to me with worse and worse news about lost coverage and unthinkably higher bills through absolutely no fault of their own. The fault for this national catastrophe lies squarely with President Obama and all those who, like him, outrageously ignore the pain this law is causing and insist on preserving it, no matter the cost to innocent Americans. There is simply no honest way to defend the indefensible.
“The history of Obamacare has been stained from the start. It was passed against popular will, thanks only to arrogant deception and outright lies, and then put into effect only after its author was safely re-elected. President Obama said whatever he needed to say, no matter how untrue, in order to give himself a false achievement. Much like the unpopular Iran deal, it was more about securing a wing in his presidential library than securing a better future for Americans. No doubt, Obamacare will forever be part of his legacy, but not the way he intended. At this point, the president should take responsibility for the damage he’s caused and apologize to the nation.
“Under the leadership of Speaker Ryan, the House has already crafted a better way forward for American health care. Our plan finally repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a patient-centered alternative that lowers costs and gives families and workers more choices. It helps the most vulnerable among us without relying on a one-size-fits-all system where government grows, the economy shrinks, and medical innovation suffers. The healing can begin on Day One of the next administration and, as yesterday’s news confirms, it can’t come soon enough.”
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:
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.
The People's House has once again fulfilled its duty to support our troops and their missions.… https://t.co/jBrCvHK5Xn
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