WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – delivered a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act, a package of 15 House-passed bills that will make various changes to federal law to improve the conditions necessary for economic growth and job creation. The speech took place ahead of the House’s consideration of H.R. 4 and H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act, a compilation of 14 bills to improve America’s energy infrastructure passed by the House during the 113th Congress. Rep. Kelly will vote for both packages this evening.
Highlights from Rep. Kelly’s speech:
“The world is looking for the next great emerging economy, and you know where it is? It’s right here. It’s us. It sits here in this country. And we talk about the American people. What are they tired of? They’re tired of political talk and not policy change that will get them back to work. This morning, Mr. Speaker, 92 million Americans woke up—you know what they decided? That they weren’t even going to go look for a job today, because there is no hope in finding a job today.”
“The president of Ukraine came to the United States today to ask for help. He didn’t go anywhere else in the world. He came here. Why did he come to the United States? Why did he come to America? Why for centuries have people come to America? For opportunity, for jobs, to make their life better.”
“We have to sit and debate a jobs package? And we want to talk about politics. We don’t want to talk about the policy of it? We don’t want to talk about the opportunity that this country has always presented. Are you kidding me?”
“If there is dysfunction—there is, down in the Senate, where 360 pieces of legislation are on a table because one man – one man – stands in the way of this legislation, and it is the leader of the Senate [Harry Reid]. … Please, get away from the politics. We are sick of it as a people.”
“The opportunity is off the charts. A new day is dawning and the only thing holding it back right now is the cloud cover that comes from Washington, DC, where we refuse to create opportunity and instead create anger. And we create dissatisfaction. We create confusion, and the American people sit back and say, ‘Why me? Why Now? Why here?’ And that is the great question: ‘Why?’
“After six years of waiting to see this great country emerge again with all the assets we have been given – and they are gifts from God, but we haven’t capitalized on them – the American people want something done. This is a package of jobs bills, my friends. This gets America back to work, my friends. This makes America great again. This makes us who we are. This is the very fabric of who this country has always been: the greatest nation in the world, always a defender of personal freedoms and liberties. But we can only do it if we have a dynamic and robust economy.”
“It’s time to stop talking politics and start talking policy. It’s time to get America back to work. A new day is dawning. A new opportunity is waiting for us. And the greatest economy – the greatest emerging economy the world has ever seen – is sitting right here within our borders and the only thing it’s looking for right now is dynamic leadership and direction.”
NOTE: The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act (H.R. 2) includes the following 14 bills:
· H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, authored by Representative Lee Terry, which allows construction of the Keystone XL pipeline;
· H.R. 1963, the Bureau of Reclamation Conduit Hydropower Development Equity and Jobs Act, authored by Representative Steve Daines, which streamlines the development of hydropower on federal lands;
· H.R. 2640, the Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act, authored by Representative Greg Walden, which allows for construction of a hydropower facility at the Bowman Dam;
· H.R. 2728, the Protecting States' Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, authored by Representative Bill Flores, which protects American energy production by recognizing states’ authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing;
· H.R. 4801, Requiring the Secretary of Energy to prepare a thermal insulation report, authored by Representative Adam Kinzinger, which studies the impact and cost effectiveness of thermal insulation in federal buildings;
· H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, authored by Chairman Fred Upton, which strengthens our partnerships with Canada and Mexico in order to build a more secure and efficient North American energy market;
· H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, authored by Representative Cory Gardner, which expedites the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas to our allies;
· H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act, authored by Representative Bill Cassidy, which ensures Congressional oversight of energy-related rules costing more than $1 billion;
· H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, authored by Representative Mike Pompeo, which modernizes the review process for natural gas pipeline permit applications;
· H.R. 2641, the Responsible And Professionally Invigorating Development Act, authored by Representative Tom Marino, which establishes a more streamlined and transparent federal permitting process for construction projects;
· H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security & Affordability Act, authored by Representative Ed Whitfield, which protects reliable and affordable electricity sources;
· H.R. 2824, the Preventing Government Waste & Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, authored by Representative Bill Johnson, which prevents the Administration from developing new, job-killing coal regulations; and
· H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gas Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, authored by Chairman Doc Hastings, Representative Doug Lamborn, Representative Scott Tipton, and Representative Bill Johnson, which removes federal government barriers that block production of U.S. energy sources offshore and expands onshore American energy production by streamlining government red-tape and regulations.
The Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4) includes the following 15 bills:
· H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act, authored by Representative Todd Young, which repeals Obamacare’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment;
· H.R. 899, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, authored by Representative Virginia Foxx, which equips Congress and the public with tools to determine the true costs of regulations;
· H.R. 2804, the Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency (ALERRT) Act, authored by Representative George Holding, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Representative Doug Collins, and Representative Spencer Bachus, which promotes jobs, better wages, and economic growth through regulatory reform;
· H.R. 367, Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, authored by Representative Todd Young, which ensures that Congress votes on all new major rules before they can be enforced;
· H.R. 1105, the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, authored by Representative Robert Hurt, which prevents Dodd-Frank Act regulations from diverting capital from small- and medium-sized businesses;
· H.R. 2274, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act, authored by Representative Bill Huizenga, which streamlines regulatory requirements to help facilitate capital formation to grow small- and medium-sized businesses;
· H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act, authored by Representative Rodney Davis, which incentivizes businesses to hire veterans by excluding them from Obamacare’s employer mandate threshold;
· H.R. 1526, Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, authored by Chairman Doc Hastings, which will put Americans back to work by promoting responsible timber production;
· H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, authored by Representative Mark Amodei, which allows the U.S. to develop resources that are critical to our economic competiveness;
· H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, authored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte, which protects internet access for all Americans and fosters growth in the digital economy;
· H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act, authored by Representative Kevin Brady, which makes the R&D Tax Credit permanent, paving the way for increased innovation and investment in the U.S.;
· H.R. 4457, the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act, authored by Representative Pat Tiberi, which makes section 179 expensing permanent ensuring that our small businesses have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and create jobs;
· H.R. 4453, the S Corporation Permanent Tax Relief Act, authored by Representative Dave Reichert, which provides the necessary flexibility for S corporations to access capital and make new investments; and
· H.R. 4718, Amending the Internal Revenue code of 1986, authored by Representative Pat Tiberi, making bonus depreciation permanent in order to lower the cost of capital for businesses.
ICYMI: Rep. Kelly is the lead sponsor of H.R. 4808, the Coal Country Protection Act, a bill he introduced in the House of Representatives on June 5, 2014, to protect jobs threatened by overreaching EPA regulations. On Monday, August 4, 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a guest op-ed written by Rep. Kelly on the economic danger of the EPA's coal regulations proposed under President Obama titled, “Pushing Back Against Obama's War on Coal.”
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued following statement today after receiving the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for his strong voting record in support of small business in the 113th Congress.
“I am proud and honored to receive this award, just as I am always proud to stand up for small businesses in Western Pennsylvania and across our great country. As a small business owner myself, I know full well how much these enterprises contribute to their surrounding communities in terms of widespread employment and economic activity. It is incredibly important for elected leaders to recognize the unparalleled economic power provided by small businesses and ensure that they are able to prosper and create opportunity without the burden of overbearing taxation and regulation. We have a responsibility to help small businesses thrive in order to grow our economy and create new family-sustaining jobs for our constituents.”
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight – issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed three pieces of legislation authored by Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, M.D. (R-LA) to limit the power of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the wake of ongoing investigations into the agency’s unlawful targeting of conservative organizations. Rep. Kelly is the sole original co-sponsor of each bill.
“I strongly commend my colleagues in the House for passing today’s commonsense bills to protect all Americans from future overreach by the IRS. Our committee’s ongoing investigation into the agency’s scandalous abuses has simultaneously revealed meaningful ways to prevent such abuse from ever being repeated. Today’s legislation makes it clear that as the lessons of this shameful saga are learned, remedies for the IRS’s corruption can and must be carried out. Never again should the most feared federal entity be permitted to target, punish, or harass innocent American citizens for simply excising their lawfully protected right to free speech. The Senate now has a duty to follow our lead and defend the rights of the American people by supporting these bills, along with other measures already passed by the People’s House.”
NOTE: Today’s three House-passed bills to prevent future abuse by the IRS include:
· H.R. 5418: To prohibit officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct official business.
· H.R. 5419: To provide tax-exempt groups the right to an administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt status.
· H.R. 5420: To permit the release of certain information to victims regarding the status of investigations into leaks of their personal taxpayer information.
BACKGROUND: Rep. Kelly has been a prominent vocal leader in the ongoing pursuit for answers since news of the IRS scandal first broke. He is the original sponsor of the Government Employee Accountability Act, which would grant all federal agencies the power to fire reckless Senior Executive Service (SES) employees (such as Lois Lerner) on the spot, or place them on “investigative leave” without pay. The legislation was passed by the House of Representatives on August 1, 2013, as part of H.R. 2879, the Stop Government Abuse Act, by a bipartisan vote of 239-176.
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after introducing H.R. 5482, the Enhanced Security Clearance Act of 2014, in the House of Representatives. The legislation will enhance the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) background check system for the granting, denial, or revocation of security clearances or access to classified information of employees and contractors of the federal government. In particular, the bill will update government background checks to include an applicants’ publicly available electronic data including social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Similar bipartisan legislation has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and is being sponsored by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
“It is long past time for our government’s hiring office to catch up with the present in order to catch and prevent future threats to our nation’s wellbeing. Because of OPM’s outdated practices, nefarious characters with security clearances have been able to obtain and maintain employment within our government, which has ultimately resulted in tragedy and treason. This bill will help stop the Snowdens, Mannings, Hasans, and Alexis’s of the world from holding any federal job that could be abused at the expense of our national defense. Especially in light of today’s anniversary of the Navy Yard shooting, it is critical that we remember the grave costs of security-related oversights and do not hesitate to take obvious and overdue action to save American lives.”
Associated Press on Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter, September 24, 2013:
“The gaps in his record eventually allowed him to work in the secure Navy building where he gunned down 12 workers … underscoring weaknesses with the clearance process.”
Geoffrey Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, Social Intelligence:
“Social media and publicly available electronic information provide unique perspective and deep insight into an individual’s character and judgment, complimenting traditional data sources; this kind of information should be central to any security clearance screening. The opportunities for improving our existing security clearance processes are well documented, and the Enhanced Security Clearance Act of 2014 is a concrete step toward taking advantage of new technologies, analytics and data sources to improve national security. This bill will not only advance security clearance processes, but facilitate the creation of new technology centered jobs focused on implementing these enhancements. Our office and team in Grove City, Pennsylvania will be at the forefront of innovation as we strive to support this critical mission.”
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in recognition of the 13th anniversary of the al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, as well as the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“Today I once again join my fellow citizens in remembering the unthinkable attacks upon our homeland that changed our world forever. My heart still aches for all the lives taken from us and the families who miss them dearly. While the pain of 9/11 will never go away, neither will the memories of the courage, the compassion, and the heroism that was showcased from the first responders on the ground in New York and Washington to the heroes in the sky above Pennsylvania. Since then, the world has witnessed our resolve and our enemies have felt our might. The phrases ‘Never Forget’ and ‘Never Again’ continue to inspire our nation as we forge ahead, year after year, with a firm commitment to lasting security for our people.
“Thirteen years after our darkest day, the war on terror carries on. Simply put, the Islamic State is a demonic force that cannot be permitted to co-habit the globe with civilized life. Like al Qaeda, IS terrorists and their ideology are waging war on America and civilization itself. Like al Qaeda, IS has already attacked our nation by executing two of our own citizens and threatening to kill more. We must fight back, and we must win. American leadership and lethal military power must be used to fully and permanently destroy IS, wherever it exists, as quickly as possible. We must responsibly pursue any strategy that will succeed at eradicating IS and take no tool or tactic off the table in order to achieve that end.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) sent a letter today to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging each leader to reject S.J. Res 19, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding campaign finance that would severely curtail First Amendment rights. The letter – which can be viewed here – was co-signed by House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA), and House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ), among others.
Excerpts of Rep. Kelly’s letter:
“As members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have sworn to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ including the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, we write in opposition to S.J. Res. 19, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States regarding campaign finance that would severely curtail First Amendment rights. Further, we note the urgency of this matter in light of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s recent hearing and markup of this proposal, and the Majority Leader’s actions to bring this proposal before the full Senate for a vote.”
“Free speech is essential to a representative democracy. It is the way the people can hold their elected officials accountable. Advocates of this proposal claim it will ‘restore’ democracy to the American people, but in fact, limiting speech will do no such thing. In fact, this is an unprecedented effort. Never before in the history of our nation has a provision in the Bill of Rights been amended, and rightly so.”
“…this proposed constitutional amendment goes much further than existing law. For example, this sweeping proposal could empower Congress to restrict speech by pastors and churches by claiming it influenced the political process.”
“Simply put, bans on money are bans on speech. ... No one with any experience in public advocacy or campaigning could possibly claim that one can engage in political speech and activity effectively without the funding required to support such efforts and to distribute such communications.”
“So-called speech equalizing is an affront to the First Amendment, which is supposed to protect the free marketplace of ideas. In the free marketplace of ideas, free people, not the government, assess the quality of arguments and decide which they find persuasive. Advocates of this amendment claim that open debate does not promote democracy, but rather threatens it – a complete inversion of the First Amendment.”
“…the language in the proposals creating an exemption for “the press,” creates even more problems. The proposal fails to define what “the press” is, thereby inviting government to draw arbitrary lines to favor some speech and punish other speech. …Moreover, this press exemption would elevate the freedom of the press above all the other rights recognized in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, religious freedom, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after submitting a letter to President Obama voicing opposition to the planned First Conference of State Parties (CSP) to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) – a UN-backed gathering to shape the future of the ATT – due to its exclusion of any organization critical of the treaty. The preparatory process for the First CSP begins next week in Mexico. The First CSP must take place within a year of the treaty entering into force, which will occur after 50 nations have ratified the treaty (45 nations have ratified it thus far). A copy of Rep. Kelly’s letter can be viewed here.
“The deliberate exclusion of dissenting voices at the First CSP for the ATT is an unacceptable slap in the face to open debate and fair negotiation. If the UN is willing to include and keep pro-ATT groups at the discussion table, then organizations with legitimate, well-founded criticism of the treaty must be included as well. Otherwise, the entire process becomes a farce and the UN only lives up to its reputation as a laughable entity. Of course, the danger posed by the ATT to our rights and our allies is no laughing matter. At the very least, President Obama should condemn the UN’s discrimination and advocate for a fully balanced process moving forward.”
NOTE: 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 currently has 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 June 14, 2013, Rep. Kelly introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 to prohibit federal funding for the implementation of the ATT for one year by the Department of Defense. The amendment was adopted unanimously by a voice vote and included in the final passage of the NDAA by the House of Representatives. The House-Senate compromise NDAA, which included an updated version of the Kelly amendment, was passed by the House on December 12, 2013; passed by the Senate on December, 19, 2013; and signed by President Obama on December 26, 2013.
On July 24, 2013, the House Appropriations Committee approved the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 which imposes a one-year ban on the use of federal funds for the implementation of the ATT by the State Department. The ban is based on language from a bipartisan letter which Rep. Kelly authored and submitted to the State and Foreign Operations subcommittee on April 18, 2013. A version of this ban was integrated into H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which temporarily funded the government between October 1, 2013 and January 15, 2014.
On April 1, 2014, Rep. Kelly authored and submitted four separate letters to the bipartisan leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies requesting updated and strengthened language prohibiting federal funding of the ATT in each of the subcommittees’ respective appropriation bills for fiscal year 2015, including an explicit ban on the use of funds to engage in domestic prosecutions on the basis of the ATT. Each letter was co-signed by more than 80 members of Congress.
On May 30, 2014, the House passed the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which included language requested by Kelly to ban ATT funding by the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.
On June 20, 2014, the House passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015 by a bipartisan vote of 340-73, which included language requested by Rep. Kelly to prohibit any funding by the Defense Department for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) for one year.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement today in support of a bipartisan congressional effort to halt the closure of 82 U.S. Postal Service mail processing facilities, including one in Erie, PA, scheduled to begin in January 2015. He has co-signed a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the House Committee on Appropriations to include language in the Fiscal Year 2015 Continuing Resolution which would impose a one-year moratorium on the slated closures. The letter can be viewed here.
“I have signed this bipartisan letter asking for a one-year moratorium on the scheduled office closures in order to allow members on both sides of the aisle in Congress more time to achieve meaningful postal reforms based on the common ground we already share on this issue. There’s no question that reforms need to be made to make the U.S. Postal Service solvent, but these closures will adversely affect both small businesses and rural communities that depend on local next-day mail. Our bipartisan group is simply asking for more time to come up with a better alternative towards solvency than the current proposal for closures of distribution centers nation-wide. I commend State Representative Harkins, Mayor Sinnott, and members of Erie City Council who have already voiced their concerns with our office and encourage the community to also take their concerns to the Postal Service directly.”
On Monday, August 4, 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a guest op-ed written by Rep. Kelly on the economic danger of the EPA's coal regulations proposed under President Obama.
Excerpts from "Pushing Back Against Obama's War on Coal" by Rep. Kelly:
"It was good to see coal finally get a public hearing [last week]. The bad news is that President Obama and the EPA have already issued their guilty verdict and handed down the sentence."
"Coal generates 40% of America's electricity-more than any other energy source. Its stable price and abundance insulates the U.S. economy from spikes in energy demand. Yet the EPA is proposing to destroy coal's benefits by imposing onerous emissions standards on all existing power plants, under the threat of crippling fines, which is certain to lead to plant closures."
"The EPA's war on coal has troubling economic implications for every American and U.S. business. As the new regulations take effect, Americans could see their electric bills increase annually by more than 10%-$150 for the average consumer-by the end of the decade, according to the American Action Forum."
"By keeping energy rates reliably low, coal helps give U.S. manufacturing its global edge against foreign competitors. On June 2 the National Association of Manufacturers warned that the EPA rule 'could single-handedly eliminate this competitive advantage by removing reliable and abundant sources of energy from our nation's energy mix.'"
"Coal also provides, directly and indirectly, hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. In my state of Pennsylvania, more than 40,000 jobs are tied to coal production, including thousands of manufacturing jobs in factories powered by coal. Federal regulations have already forced two plants in my district to close over the past two years. The National Mining Association estimates that more than 300 plants will retire nationwide due to EPA rules over the next six years. When mines and plants shut down, manufacturing costs rise and employment plummets."
"What is the point of all this pain? China and India, not the United States, are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide from coal. China alone has increased coal production by more than 24% since 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration, while the U.S. power sector's carbon emissions have declined by 15%. According to the National Mining Association, a coal plant built today emits 90% fewer emissions than a plant built in the 1970s. That's not clean enough for the EPA."
"The New Republic puts it this way: 'The goal of these regulations is not to stop global warming, but to prove to the international community that the U.S. is ready to pay additional costs to combat climate change.' In other words, the Obama administration expects the American people to sacrifice for the sake of mere symbolism."
"I recently introduced the Coal Country Protection Act (H.R. 4808) in the House of Representatives, a companion to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's legislation in the Senate. This bipartisan bill-co-sponsored by West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall, among others-would halt new EPA regulation on power plants until there is a guarantee that there will be no loss of American jobs, no drop in gross domestic product, no higher electricity rates and no interruption in energy delivery."
"In January 2008 as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama promised that 'electricity rates would necessarily sky-rocket' under his policies and boasted that 'if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can-it's just that [it] will bankrupt them.' He has shown as president that he intends to make good on that promise by eradicating coal from American life."
"He used his first-year political capital to try to pass a cap-and-trade plan, but that legislation failed even in the Democratic Senate. Now he is leading the charge again through regulatory fiat. The Clean Power Plan must be stopped-not just for coal country, but the whole country."
Faith-based providers and individuals helping children should not be prevented from providing welfare services because of their religious faith, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa. The lawmakers say some people in positions of power are essentially discriminating against people of faith and seeking to force providers out of these services because of the providers’ beliefs.
Enzi and Kelly introduced legislation on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, to ensure faith-based institutions and individuals can continue to provide services for those who need them.
For decades, adoption and foster care providers – secular, government-operated and faith-based – have worked side-by-side to serve infants, expectant mothers, adoptive and foster families, children, teens and families under economic and emotional pressure. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014 would prevent providers of child welfare services from being excluded from offering these services based on their religious beliefs.
“Faith-based charities and organizations do an amazing job of administering adoption, foster care and a host of other services. Limiting their work because someone might disagree with what they believe only ends up hurting the families they could be bringing together,” said Enzi. “I’ve worked for years to support bills and ideas that help children find safe, loving and permanent homes. This legislation will help make sure faith-based providers and individuals can continue to work alongside other agencies and organizations, and that adoptive and foster parents have access to providers of their choice.”
“This bill is about fairness and inclusion. It is about ensuring that everyone who wants to help provide foster or adoptive care to children is able to have a seat at the table,” said Kelly. “Faith-based organizations have historically played a downright heroic role in caring for our nation’s most vulnerable and needy kids. In so many ways their work is unparalleled. There is no good reason why any of these care providers should be disqualified from working with their government to serve America’s families simply because of their deeply-rooted religious beliefs.”
Adoption and foster care is intensely personal and emotional for all those concerned. All participants, infants, children, teens and families involved have benefited from having a range of service options to best suit their emotional, spiritual and financial needs and circumstances, according to Enzi and Kelly.
Click here to read the legislation.Read More
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.