WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – authored a guest opinion piece published today at FoxNews.com in which he describes the first 100 days of President Donald J. Trump’s administration as a successful reversal of the nation’s previous trajectory of decline at home and abroad.
By Rep. Mike Kelly
Eight years ago, Charles Krauthammer assessed America’s future and famously wrote, “Decline is a choice. … Decline – or continued ascendancy – is in our hands.”
For the eight years that followed, under the administration of Barack Obama, decline was our chosen destination. Over the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, America is choosing to ascend again.
Obama’s presidency was defined by the expansion of government at home and appeasement and retreat abroad. Justly so, President Trump’s mission to correct our course has involved a wholesale rejection of his predecessor’s approach to government and view of the world.
Unlike Obama, President Trump has surrounded himself with men and women from the private sector who, like him, understand how businesses are run, jobs are created, and pay checks are grown. Those of his appointees with public service backgrounds, like Vice President Mike Pence, are principled conservatives who want to empower those outside of Washington, not in it.
Obama pledged to “fundamentally transform” the United States and tried many methods to do so. Changing the dominant judicial philosophy of the Supreme Court would have meant changing the very character of our country, but thanks to a major promise kept, that will not be happening anytime soon.
Simply put, President Trump saved the high court from a hostile liberal takeover. The importance of this victory for the cause of limited Constitutional government and the rule of law cannot be overstated. The rewards of replacing Antonin Scalia with another originalist like Neil Gorsuch will be realized for decades. On everything from First and Second Amendment rights to the many debates centered on federalism, this can only be seen as a major conservative achievement.
Ironically, the same pen used by Obama to enact much of his agenda is now being wielded by his successor to undo it. With each pillar of the Obama legacy he pulls down, President Trump is effectively unleashing our economy and setting America in a more dynamic direction.
President Trump understands that one of the greatest impediments to economic growth has been excessive red tape imposed by Washington. That is why in January he signed a monumental executive order requiring that for every new regulation written by federal agencies, two existing regulations must be cut.
The Obama years saw overregulation reach a record high with more than 20,000 new rules that collectively cost our economy more than $100 billion. The Trump years are already promising the opposite. By utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the president has signed more bills to repeal more regulations in his first 100 days than any president before him.
According to the American Action Forum, through the CRA and separate executive actions, President Trump’s regulatory rollback will save Americans more than $60 billion and more than 56 million hours of paperwork. He is succeeding in getting government out of the private sector’s way and protecting taxpayers in ways until recently unthinkable.
Once targets of frustrating political obstruction, the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines have now been approved for construction and completion. Once a cornerstone of liberal climate policy, the war on coal is now over. With the abolition of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United Sates rule, an industry that employs thousands and provides affordable electricity to millions will no longer be strangled by smug federal bureaucrats.
Even on the matter of defending the unborn, President Trump affirmed his administration’s pro-life convictions early on when he reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which protects taxpayer dollars from funding abortion overseas.
Other areas of domestic policy have also been addressed by President Trump’s multitude of executive orders. With each action, he has commanded the federal government to ease burdens on the American people and set the stage for larger projects, such as the repeal and replacement of Obamacare and pro-growth tax reform.
In the global arena, America is undeniably leading with strength and confidence again.
No better snapshot of our rediscovered spine was seen than when Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad once again attacked his own people with chemical weapons. When this line was crossed in 2013, Obama publicly dithered for weeks and ultimately failed to enforce his own threat. This time, President Trump responded decisively within days and sent 59 Tomahawk missiles to destroy the airbase from where the gas attack was launched.
Our retaliation sent a simple yet unmistakable message to the entire world, friend and foe alike: We are a mighty superpower to trust, fear, and respect again.
Above all, we are an America that respects itself again.
Think about it: 100 days ago, we had a president who actually scolded us not to “get on our high horse” when criticizing radical Islam because of actions by Christians during the Crusades and slavery.
Now, we have a president unafraid to use both his inaugural address and a primetime speech to Congress to call our enemy by its name, condemn ISIS as “a network of lawless savages,” and declare it our war’s goal to “extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”
As President Trump put it before the election: “We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America.”
This renewed confidence in our righteousness was felt as we dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in combat history on an ISIS cave in Afghanistan. It is why our Guantanamo Bay naval base is no longer at risk of being closed for ridiculous symbolic reasons.
Where there were apologies, there is now pride. Where there was indecision, there is now resolution. Where there was moral relativism, there is once again American exceptionalism. Instead of a lecturer as president, we now have a leader.
No president’s agenda has ever or will ever be completed in 100 days or even a year. There is still much work to be done and many promises to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that our trajectory of weakness has been stopped and reversed.
As President Trump visits Pennsylvania this Saturday, those of us welcoming him will celebrate the beginning of an era in which the world’s greatest republic rejected decline and instead chose to reaffirm its strength, its principles, its potential, and yes, its greatness.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the launch of numerous missile strikes by the United States last night against a government air base in central Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack carried out by the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad earlier this week against Syrian civilians.
“Last night the world’s greatest force for good stood up to pure evil. The deliberate gassing of innocent men, women, and children by their own government demands retaliation by those with the power and virtue to fight it and stop it. History is filled with painful lessons about what happens when civilized nations turn a blind eye to such atrocities against humanity. I applaud President Trump for heeding those lessons and having the courage to take action. For too long, the lack of confident leadership by the world’s sole superpower only emboldened bad actors like the Assad regime to commit further aggression. The result was the shattering of regional peace, the spread of militarized terror, and the erosion of American credibility. I am proud and relieved to see America once again lead with strength and moral certitude. Through all that lies ahead, my prayers are with the United States Armed Forces, the innocent people of Syria, and all those who struggle in the name of peace and freedom.”
Washington, D.C. — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have introduced H.R. 1908, the Investing in America: Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act, bipartisan legislation that would increase investments in critical harbor and port projects and guarantee that money intended to dredge the nation’s coastal and inland commercial ports would actually go toward harbor maintenance.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) estimates that full channels at the Nation’s 59 busiest ports are available less than 35 percent of the time. The Investing in America: Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act provides the necessary funding to dredge all federal commercial harbors to their constructed widths and depths, and maintain these harbors for the next decade, without adding a penny to the deficit.
“The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund was created by the Reagan administration to ensure that our nation’s ports and harbors, like the Port of Erie, would always be properly dredged and fully operational. Unfortunately, much of its annually collected revenue is no longer making it back to the ports where it is desperately needed. The result is the inexcusable deterioration of our ports from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, which negatively impacts our economy in Erie and nationwide. Failing to maintain our ports and channels destroys American jobs and forces families to pay more money for the goods they need. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will make sure that America’s ports and harbors are once again fully maintained, which will save and create jobs, grow businesses, and keep us competitive on the global stage. We will ensure that the United States is equipped with a modern and efficient transportation system to meet the needs of a 21st century economy without raising a single dime in taxes,” said Kelly.
“The Federal government has a responsibility to maintain the ports, harbors and waterways that support thousands of jobs and economic growth in communities across the country. This bipartisan, common sense legislation guarantees that funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will not be diverted and will only be used for their intended purpose—harbor maintenance. Our legislation will create and sustain thousands of needed jobs, it will provide a tremendous boost to economic competitiveness, and it does all of this without adding a penny to the deficit,” said DeFazio.
The Investing in America: Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act provides more than $18 billion over the next decade, which is a 29 percent increase in investment, and will enable the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge all Federal commercial harbors to their constructed widths and depths. The bill takes the Trust Fund off budget and allows the Secretary of the Army to directly use Harbor Maintenance revenues collected each year for authorized maintenance activities. The legislation also preserves Congress’ authority to appropriate additional funds for harbor maintenance needs from the existing $9 billion balance in the Trust Fund.
To read the legislation, click here.
In 1986, Congress and President Reagan enacted the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) to pay for the operation and maintenance dredging costs for the nation’s commercial ports by recovering funds from maritime shippers. The HMTF is directly paid for by importers and domestic shippers using coastal or inland ports as a 0.125 percent ad valorem user fee on the value of imported cargo (e.g., $1.25 per $1,000 value) and is typically passed along to U.S. taxpayers on the purchase of imported goods or services. These revenues are deposited into a HMTF within the U.S. Treasury from which Congress currently appropriates funds to the Corps for harbor maintenance dredging.
The HMTF collects far more revenues from shippers than Congress has provided to the Corps to maintain our harbors, with approximately $9 billion in already-collected revenues sitting idle in the U.S. Treasury. As a result, shippers continue to honor their commitment to pay for promised maintenance activities that the federal government then fails to carry out. There are sufficient funds in the Trust Fund to meet the maintenance dredging needs of all Federally-authorized ports. The problem is that the Trust Fund is being treated by appropriators more like a slush fund.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the HMTF will collect $18.5 billion in new revenues over the next decade—in addition to the estimated $8.8 billion in previously collected but unspent revenues in the Trust Fund. According to CBO, Federal appropriations from the Trust Fund over the next decade are only expected to total $14.3 billion, and would result in the balance of the Trust Fund doubling—reaching $17.2 billion in fiscal year 2026. The Investing in America: Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act would finally reverse this trend and all money collected for harbor maintenance would actually go toward harbor maintenance.
-- ### --Read More
Washington, D.C. – 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.
Senator Enzi and Rep. Kelly have once again introduced legislation (H.R. 1881) 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 2017 (also known as "the Inclusion Act") would prevent providers of child welfare services from being excluded from offering these services based on their religious beliefs.
“All across the country, faith-based charities and organizations are working hard to find children safe, loving and permanent homes,” Enzi said. “This is wonderful work, and we should be looking to encourage these organizations, not limiting their efforts because of their religious beliefs. This legislation would help ensure that faith-based organizations providers and individuals can continue their work, and that adoptive and foster parents have access to providers of their choice.”
“Faith-based organizations have historically played a heroic role in caring for our country’s most vulnerable kids,” Kelly said. “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. When it comes to helping kids and making families stronger, all service providers – religious or otherwise – should have a seat at the table. That’s what this bill is about. It is 100 percent inclusive and child-focused. No provider should ever be forced to violate their faith in order to help give each kid a loving and caring family.”
Adoption and foster care is intensely personal and emotional for all those concerned. All participants involved – infants, children, teens and families – 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.
Cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate include Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, James Risch, R-Idaho., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mark Rubio, R-Fla., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb. Cosponsors of the legislation in the House include Representatives Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, Christopher Smith, R-N.J., Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., Walter Jones, R-N.C., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Steve King, R-Iowa, Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Alexander Mooney, R-W.Va. and Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.
Click here to read the legislation.
- ### -
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding the executive order signed by President Donald Trump this afternoon to eliminate overreaching federal regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama administration which put U.S. job creation and economic growth at risk.
“Today’s action by President Trump is a long-awaited victory for American jobs and livelihoods, and a promising sign for energy independence. The reckless war on coal carried out by the last administration is now over. No longer will a rigid ideology be put ahead of our nation’s workers and prosperity. Just as President Obama kept his promise to hurt coal and those who use it, President Trump is keeping his promise to put our economy first and I commend him for it.
“In Pennsylvania alone, coal is responsible for roughly 40,000 jobs and 40 percent of our electric power. The Associated Press rightly calls it ‘the workhorse of the US power system.’ For too long the federal government has cruelly disregarded the needs of workers, families, and seniors – in Western Pennsylvania and across America – who rely on coal's benefits and have felt the pain of the EPA’s costly overreach. Those days are thankfully over.
“I believe we can ensure clean air and clean water without leaving Americans jobless and our economy weaker. I agree with the White House that the best way to protect our environment is to have robust and dynamic economic growth. A safe environment and a strong economy should not be mutually exclusive. With today’s fresh start, both goals can be achieved.”
BACKGROUND: Over the last two congresses, Rep. Kelly was the original sponsor of the Coal Country Protection Act, which would have halted any new regulation or guidance by the EPA to limit carbon emissions from new or existing power plants until specific criteria were met. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the original sponsor in the U.S. Senate.)
On August 4, 2014, Rep. Kelly authored a guest op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on the economic danger of the EPA's anti-coal regulations under President Obama titled, “Pushing Back Against Obama's War on Coal.”
On July 29, 2014, Rep. Kelly formally invited President Obama to visit a coal mine in Western Pennsylvania. The visit would have been personally arranged by Rep. Kelly and was designed to give the president an opportunity to meet the workers whose jobs were most directly threatened by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
Rep. Kelly is a member of the Congressional Coal Caucus. On October 29, 2013, he delivered a memorable address at the National Mining Association’s “Rally for American Energy Jobs” on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol which can be viewed here.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in appreciation of President Donald Trump signing into law H.R. 609, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Kelly to designate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic.” The legislation – co-sponsored by all 18 members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation – was passed by the House of Representatives with unanimous support on February 13, 2017.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“Sgt. Abraham was an awe-inspiring American hero whose entire life personified bravery, selflessness, and resilience. His actions during World War II and his lifetime of service to his fellow veterans made him a giant among men and a true role model for every generation to follow. I couldn’t be more grateful to President Trump for signing my bill into law to help our community, and our country, eternally honor the legacy of this humble yet extraordinary patriot.”
Excerpt of H.R. 609:
Abie was stationed during World War II with the 18th Infantry in New York; 3 years with the 14th Infantry in Panama; 15th Infantry, unassigned in China, while the Panay was sunk; 30th Infantry in Presidio, San Francisco; and the 31st Infantry in Manila, Philippines, for 9 years.
During World War II, Abie fought, was captured, endured the Bataan Death March, and, as a prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years, was beaten, stabbed, and shot, and survived malaria and starvation to be rescued by the 6th Rangers.
Abraham stayed behind at the request of General Douglas MacArthur for 2 1/2 more years disinterring the bodies of his fallen comrades from the Bataan Death March and the prison camps, helping to identify their bodies and see that they were properly laid to rest.
After his promotion in 1945, Abie came back to the United States where he served as a recruiter, and then also served 2 years in Germany until his retirement with 30 years of service as a Master Sergeant.
Abie received numerous medals for his service, including the Purple Heart, and had several documentaries on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
Abie was also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Purple Heart Combat/Infantry Organization, the American Ex-POWs, the Disabled American Veterans, and the American Defenders of Bataan.
Abraham was a volunteer at Veterans Affairs Butler Healthcare for 23 years from 1988 to 2011 and had 36,851 service hours caring for our veterans.
Abie Abraham, July 31, 1913 – March 22, 2012
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in an exclusive interview with CBS News last week as an accompaniment to the recent CBSN Originals documentary, “America: Manufacturing Hope.”
Highlights from Rep. Kelly:
“I’m from the private sector, and while I spend part of my week in Washington, DC, I spend most of my week back in the district I represent. Donald Trump represented those types of Americans—it was just that simple. Not a political insider by any means, but a guy who appealed to especially working women and men, and I just could see it coming.”
“It all started off on [President Trump’s] first day in office. After his inauguration, he cut that parade short by half because he wanted to get to work, and he’s been working that way ever since that first day. A little past the first 30 days into his presidency, he’s already done things with regulations—dialing them back—that make it easier for especially people in manufacturing, people in the private sector, to look at the future and say, ‘Boy am I optimistic! This guy gets it, he knows what’s going on.’ And he said correctly, we’re going to do it quickly and we’re moving very quickly. He is America’s newest action figure. I guarantee you: nobody can match this guy for speed.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today regarding the conclusion of the full committee’s 18-hour mark-up hearing to approve the Ways and Means component of the American Health Care Act.
“After 18 straight hours of open deliberation, the Ways and Means Committee answered the American people’s call and that of President Trump and officially put the American Health Care Act on the path to becoming law. The end of Obamacare and the start of a better health care system began this morning and will continue until cost-lowering, patient-centered health care for every American is fully achieved. This is news of enormous relief for American workers, families, seniors, those who are sick and vulnerable, and those who give them medical care.
“This historic bill represents Phase One of the overall repeal and replace process; Phase Two will be the action that Secretary Price takes at the Health and Human Services Department, and Phase Three will come in the form of future patient-centered legislation that could not be included in the reconciliation process. With the leadership of President Trump, as well as the support of conservative policy champions like Vice President Pence and Secretary Price, my colleagues and I in Congress will fulfill our promise to relieve the nation of Obamacare while avoiding the mistakes of its disastrous creation. Through it all, we will guarantee that this delicate process remains honest, open, and transparent for the American people.”
NOTE: Read the full text of the American Health Care Act here.
The Ways and Means component of the bill accomplishes the following:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement tonight in response to President Donald J. Trump’s address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
“Tonight we heard a proclamation of strength, confidence, and ambition in pursuit of a greater country and better future for every single American. It was one of the most positive and unifying addresses I have ever heard delivered at that podium, and I thank President Trump for coming to the People’s House to deliver it. His forward-looking message reaffirmed my belief that he has exactly the right vision at the right time to guide America in the right direction.
“The president’s words were effective precisely because they were underlined by a refreshingly honest assessment of the very real challenges we face and a clear-eyed view of the problems in our society that, frankly, have gone unanswered for too long. As the president said, ‘The time for small thinking is over.’ We as a government have major mountains to climb and great victories to achieve on behalf of the American people, and tonight, our president made clear that failure is not an option. We have an economy to grow, a military to rebuild, communities to make safe, enemies to eliminate, and an American Dream to rejuvenate. I look forward to all of the work ahead."
“I want to win and I want America to win again”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – appeared on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel this morning to discuss the future of pro-growth tax reform, a top priority of the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress.
Highlights from Rep. Kelly:
“We’re working on [tax reform]; Ways and Means has been working on it; Speaker Ryan has been working on it for quite some time; so we have a tax proposal out there, but like in 1986, when President Reagan led tax reform, the same thing’s going to happen now: it’s going to come from the White House. It’s going to be a combination of what Ways & Means can put together, what Congress can put together, and what the president wants to do to drive an America that not only participates but an America that dominates globally. There's no reason for America, with our assets, to be sitting here wondering, 'How are we going to get people back to work?’”
“I’m from an area where you’ve got to be able to walk and chew gum, or you shouldn’t be in leadership. This is a president who is very uncomfortable with failure and says, ‘I’m not going to tolerate that. I’m a private sector guy.’ So I want to win and I want America to win again. We can work on that and we’ll work very closely with the White House. We’re going to do things and work with our colleagues across the aisle because they’ve got to go home and face their voters the same as we do.”
“This is a president who’s going to get things done, and he’ll use whatever means within his power as the chief executive to do that. Is he going to have to push some people? Absolutely.”
“The biggest driver of our economy comes from the private sector. … We have people in the White House, we have people in all these chairmanships that are [working on tax reform]. We’ve got a great Congress now—we’re ready to work with this president and make America great again.”
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.