WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today regarding the inclusion of the language of the Energy Production Fairness Act (H.R. 898) in the final passage and enactment of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 3236), which was signed into law by President Obama this afternoon. The provision – introduced as H.R. 898 by Rep. Kelly and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) in February – will amend propane’s excise tax provisions in the Internal Revenue Code in order to provide Federal excise tax equivalence to gasoline, which, according to Butane-Propane News, “will result in lower excise taxes being levied on propane used in auto fuel applications.”
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“Today is a very good day for Western Pennsylvania, where propane is indispensable to our economy and our energy security. This tax-lowering provision will reduce heating bills for countless families and seniors in the Third District and help local energy providers create more jobs. It’s bipartisan, it’s commonsense, and now it’s law.”
Statement by Rep. Kind:
“Propane is an important part of our economy in central and western Wisconsin and I am pleased to see President Obama sign this important bill into law. This common sense, bipartisan change will help Wisconsinites save on their energy costs and make smart investments in alternative fuels to help our country become more energy independent.”
“The excise tax equalization provision … will treat propane more fairly than the current structure. Since propane has a lower energy content than gasoline, it takes 1.37 gallons of propane to equal the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline. Consequently, on a proportional basis, more excise tax is paid for a gallon of propane than on a gallon of gasoline. But Sec. 2008 takes the appropriate approach to correct this inequity and tax propane on an energy content basis, thereby creating a level playing field across all auto fuels. Ultimately, this allows consumers to choose which fuels work best for them.”
“LNG and propane are both clean, readily available fuels, produced in the United States,” said Laura Lane, President of UPS Global Public Affairs. “Removing this economic disincentive in the tax code will speed the penetration of LNG and propane vehicles into the marketplace, and expand the use of LNG and propane vehicles on America’s roadways.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly and Rep. Kind – founding members of the Congressional Propane Caucus – first introduced this provision as part of the Powering American Jobs Act of 2014 (H.R. 5775) on December 1, 2014. It was again introduced as a stand-alone bill on February 11, 2015, as the Energy Production Fairness Act (H.R. 898). The provision was included in the final bicameral passage of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 3236) in Sec. 2008 and signed into law on July 31, 2015.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight – issued the statement below today in response to remarks made by White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Shultz at this afternoon’s White House briefing regarding Rep. Kelly’s request that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conduct an audit of Planned Parenthood, a tax-exempt organization which has recently come under severe scrutiny for allegedly harvesting and selling body parts of unborn children, which is illegal.
After informing Shultz of Rep. Kelly’s letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen, reporter John Gizzi asked: “Is this something the administration would be positive about—an IRS audit of Planned Parenthood to clear the air of controversy?”
Shultz replied: “I haven’t heard that any of the videos or any of the issues surrounding Planned Parenthood have anything to do with the IRS. … I haven’t seen anything to suggest that that audit is necessary.”
Response by Rep. Kelly:
“It is frankly shocking to hear the White House claim that the IRS doesn’t ‘have anything to do’ with the nation’s most controversial tax-exempt organization. Surely Planned Parenthood, which files a 990 form with the IRS every year, would disagree. Based on what our country has learned from the recently released videos, it is more than reasonable and entirely responsible to insist that the IRS closely review Planned Parenthood’s operations to see whether the group is still operating within the parameters of a 501(c)(3) status. In the weeks to come, I expect the White House and the IRS to reach the same commonsense conclusion and support an audit of Planned Parenthood.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in a Special Order yesterday evening on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the economic benefits of coal and in opposition to harmful regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The event was hosted by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus. Rep. Kelly used the occasion to promote the Coal Country Protection Act, which he re-introduced on June 3, 2015. Yesterday Rep. Kelly also voted for the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2015, which amends the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to require congressional approval of major agency regulations before such regulations can go into effect. The legislation was passed by the House yesterday evening by a bipartisan vote of 243-165.
Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s floor speech:
“This is one promise the president kept: When he ran as a candidate, he said, ‘You can continue to make electric power by burning coal, but if you decide to go that way, we will bankrupt you.’ That is one promise he has kept.”
“In Pennsylvania alone, coal is responsible for over 40,000 jobs and 40 percent of our electric power. The Associated Press calls it ‘the workhorse of the US power system.’ But the extreme overreach by the EPA is threatening jobs and forcing energy costs for families and manufacturers to skyrocket, which hurts every single American.”
“That’s one of the reasons we re-introduced the Coal Country Protection Act—H.R. 2637. It’s a commonsense bill that would stop any new EPA regulations from affecting America’s power plants until four outcomes are achieved: Number one, no job losses; number two, no loss of GDP or economic growth; number three, no higher electric rates; and number four, no interruption in the reliable delivery in electrical energy. These are pretty commonsense goals.”
“It is about time not just for the coal country people to stand up and fight for coal—it’s time for the whole country to stand up and fight for coal. It’s well past the midnight hour. If we continue to shut down mines, lose jobs, shut down communities, and raise electric rates, then people at home sit back and wonder, ‘What are they doing in Washington, [and] why do they continue to hurt us at every turn?” And the answer is: The people making some of this [environmental] policy have never done what you have done. They never walked in your shoes, [and] they’ve never had to do what we have done in coal country to protect electric power. Why in the world would we do this now in a time when the country is looking for jobs, in a time when the country is looking for less dependence on foreign nations for energy? Why now? Why, Mr. President?”
“The bottom line is this isn’t just about coal country—this is about our whole country. … It’s time now for the people of America to also be heard. Please do not sit in silence and suffer in silence when your voices need to be heard. We need to have everybody standing up for coal, [and] standing up for the protection of electricity that is affordable and reliable. …This is something we will never give up or walk away from. It’s not an option.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly’s Coal Country Protection Act (H.R. 2637) would halt any new regulation or guidance by the EPA to limit carbon emissions from new or existing power plants until the following criteria are met:
BACKGROUND: On August 4, 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a guest op-ed written by Rep. Kelly on the economic danger of the EPA's anti-coal regulations proposed 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 be personally arranged by Rep. Kelly and designed to give the president an opportunity to meet the workers whose jobs are most directly threatened by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The invitation, since re-iterated, has thus far been declined by the White House.
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) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in this morning’s Oversight Subcommittee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s audit selection process featuring testimony by IRS commissioner John Koskinen. During his remarks, Rep. Kelly inquired about the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of Planned Parenthood, which has recently come under severe scrutiny for allegedly harvesting and selling body parts of unborn children, which is illegal. Following the hearing, Rep. Kelly sent Commissioner Koskinen a formal letter officially requesting that the agency conduct an audit of Planned Parenthood. The letter can be viewed here.
Excerpts of Rep. Kelly’s remarks to IRS Commissioner Koskinen:
“This comes down to the general public. I want to ask you a question that just came up the last couple days, and it really bothers me and it bothers a lot of people in the Third District back in Pennsylvania that I represent. … Planned Parenthood has been in the news for what appears to be commercial activity—the sale of fetal tissue. I’m assuming you’ve seen some of the videos; I have and most of the people I represent have. Planned Parenthood operates a tax exempt entity for both 501(c)(3) as well as a 501(c)(4). According to Planned Parenthood’s 990 Form filed in 2013, they had gross receipts of $196,986,791. So as a non-profit, they look rather profitable. However, given the recent videos that have come to light, my question to you from an outcry from the general public: Does the IRS plan to audit or investigate Planned Parenthood for what looks to be a commercial activity?”
“Really what we’re talking about today is restoring the faith and trust that the American people have to have in the IRS, and they look to us in Congress as their oversight to protect them at all cost. And you and I both work for the same people. I do not work for the Republican Party; I work for the people of Pennsylvania’s Third District, and more importantly, the people of the United States—the same as you. I’m looking at an organization right now – Planned Parenthood – with a 501(c)(3) status and looking at the numbers and saying, ‘My God, do we really have a blind eye and a deaf ear to what’s going on, and are these people ever going to be audited?’”
“At some point somebody somewhere should be hearing all the bells and whistles going out and the smell of sulfur in the room to say, ‘We better look into what’s going on here because there’s something that’s gone off track.’ And I would just say referrals can come from the general public. I would think the people of America are asking the IRS to take a very good look into this organization that has a 501(c)(3) status. I’m going to look into it; I want you to get back to me.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in support of upcoming House investigations into the illegal harvesting practices recently revealed by the Planned Parenthood Senior Director of Medical Services, announced this week by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
“The practices revealed this week by a top Planned Parenthood official are beyond outrageous and sickening—they are a call to action. The harvesting and selling of unborn children’s body parts is intolerable for any society that claims to respect human dignity and basic moral decency. I offer my full support to each of my colleagues as they aggressively pursue every relevant detail about these disturbing revelations and ensure that these horrific practices are immediately and permanently stopped. I also share Speaker Boehner’s call for both President Obama and Secretary Burwell to publicly condemn and investigate that which can no longer be denied. Finally, I call on the Senate to approve the House-passed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and send it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly has co-signed a joint bipartisan letter to Chairman Upton and Chairman Goodlatte expressing appreciation for the planned investigations, encouraging them “to act swiftly to examine current federal laws and regulations in your Committee’s jurisdiction, potential violations of current law, and identify areas where the law may be insufficient,” and urging them “to explore the activities of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, companies that broker fetal tissue and any incentives created by National Institutes of Health funding for research using the body parts of unborn children.” The letter is scheduled to be sent tomorrow.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding this morning’s announcement by the Obama administration of an agreement with Iran over the future of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program.
“Based on everything we currently know, the Obama administration’s deal with Iran represents a dangerous mistake of potentially historic proportions. It fails to achieve the paramount mission of permanently ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions while instead leaving the Islamic Republic newly emboldened, wrongly legitimized, and ominously free to continue its deadly sponsorship of international terrorism.
“Throughout the entire negotiation process, President Obama was openly desperate to achieve a legacy-cementing deal at almost any cost. The Iranians exploited the situation by extracting concession after concession and are now left celebrating a deal that rewards their government with tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief—much of which is guaranteed to be funneled to terrorist groups and causes throughout the world. At the same time, the agreement excludes any requirements by Iran to allow thorough American inspections, release American hostages, or even curb its well-known human rights abuses against its own people.
“Going forward, the American people’s representatives in Congress must remind the world what this administration has clearly forgotten: that Iran is not our moral or geopolitical equal but rather an untrustworthy terror state still committed to the advance of radicalism and the annihilation of Israel. We must do everything in our power to defeat this agreement. Doing so would reassert our nation’s indispensable global leadership and deny Iran a victory the world cannot afford.”
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 H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday evening by a vote of 218-213. Detailed information about the legislation can be found here and here.
“Last night I was very proud to join the People's House in passing the Student Success Act, a commonsense bill with major reforms to empower parents, increase accountability, restore local control, and ensure a quality education for every American child. Since first coming to Congress, I’ve pledged to be Western Pennsylvania’s voice in Washington and never the other way around. This legislation helps fulfill that pledge by making sure the main decision-makers for our children’s education are parents, teachers, and local leaders instead of distant federal bureaucrats. Every student is unique and each school district across America has its own specific needs. Education policy should reflect this basic fact and allow schools to determine what works best for themselves and then be held accountable at the most local possible level.”
‘Inclusion Act’ would ensure all child welfare providers in America can keep operating regardless of their religious beliefs
WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) to defend religious liberty against government discrimination was featured by The Hill in an article titled, “Faith groups press GOP for response to marriage ruling.” The bill, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015 (H.R. 1299, also known as “the Inclusion Act”), would prohibit the federal and state governments from discriminating against faith-based child welfare service providers such as adoption agencies and foster care centers because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Senate companion to this bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY).
Excerpt from the article:
Congressional Republicans are coming under pressure to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage when they return to Washington next week.
Religious organizations aligned with the GOP are concerned the government will punish them for opposing same-sex marriage, and want lawmakers to put in place new protections for people with faith-based objections.
Another piece of religious freedom legislation — the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa) — would protect religious adoption agencies.
“Catholic adoption agencies will probably go out of business if they’re told by the federal government they must place children in gay marriages, because that’s against their religious convictions,” said Tim Chapman, who heads up the lobbying efforts at the Heritage Foundation.
While most of the focus from religious groups is on the First Amendment Defense Act, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act has attracted nine co-sponsors in the Senate and 78 in the House.
“You shouldn’t be discriminated against because of your religious beliefs,” Kelly told The Hill.
BACKGROUND: Rep. Kelly and Sen. Enzi introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015 in the House and Senate respectively on March 4, 2015, after governmental entities in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and the District of Columbia in recent years denied contracts to faith-based organizations based on their inability to provide certain services which violate their religious convictions.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in regard to his participation in an official visit to four ally nations throughout Europe as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
“It has been a great honor to represent the United States with my colleagues this week as we’ve worked to strengthen our nation’s ties with some of our dearest friends in Europe. At a time of increasing worry over Russia’s revanchist aggression, it is imperative that our closest allies in the region be assured that the American people – and their representatives in Congress – have their back. This trip has been vital for solidifying America’s commitment to defending the safety and sovereignty of our partners in freedom in every way that we can. Especially as we prepare to celebrate our own nation’s independence this weekend, this week’s meetings serve as a reminder that freedom is fragile, hard fought, and must always have a friend in the United States.”
NOTE: Members of the bipartisan House delegation include Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today in response to this morning’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges.
“The high court had a responsibility to follow the Constitution but instead chose to follow the wishes of a political movement. The natural, traditional definition of marriage that I and millions of others believe in worldwide remains a cornerstone of human civilization. To redefine this institution, especially on a national scale, carries uncertain consequences and deserves serious scrutiny. Today’s ruling rips this critical debate from the democratic process by redefining marriage for all 50 states. Going forward, defenders of our Constitution have a renewed duty to protect every single citizen’s First Amendment rights and guarantee that no person or organization’s religious freedom is in any way undermined by today’s controversial decision.”
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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