WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – today introduced H. Con. Res. 97, a concurrent resolution which expresses the sense of Congress that “the President should submit to the Senate for advice and consent the climate change agreement proposed for adoption at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11, 2015.” The resolution was introduced in the House with 45 original co-sponsors. The Senate companion was introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).
Excerpt of op-ed by Rep. Kelly and Sen. Lee at National Review Online:
Looking across the entire globe, the economic cost of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to the extent recommended by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would be “beyond astronomical,” as Bill Gates recently put it.
But it’s not just the exorbitant price tag that makes climate finance a taboo topic. The second reason the Obama administration is loath to publicly acknowledge the central role that money will play in the Paris negotiations is that doing so shifts the focus away from the president and toward Congress.
For months, White House and State Department officials have insisted that President Obama has the legal authority to unilaterally commit the United States to a new climate agreement and that therefore he will not submit any deal reached in Paris to the Senate for its advice and consent.
Setting aside the dubious legal theories concocted to justify this position (theories that flatly contradict the understanding of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that has been universally accepted since its ratification in 1992) there’s one problem with President Obama’s gambit: Only Congress, not the executive, has the power to appropriate money.
Imprudent as it may be, the president is free to promise the world as much money as he pleases in the course of international negotiations. But, without the support of Congress, he is powerless to fulfill those promises.
To ensure that the foreign governments attending the climate talks in Paris are not confused about this point, members of both chambers and from both parties ought to assert with one voice that Congress will not send a dime of taxpayer money to the implementation of any agreement to which the Senate has not provided its advice and consent.
That goes for the billions of dollars that President Obama has pledged to send to the “Green Climate Fund.” And it goes for any other funds that the Paris agreement would expect the United States to give to developing countries for clean-energy adaptation.
To that end, we will soon introduce a concurrent resolution, with more than 25 Senate co-sponsors and more than 40 supporters in the House, expressing the sense of Congress that an agreement of the cost and character contemplated by the Obama administration in Paris must be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent.
The purpose of this resolution would not be to oppose the president’s plans on the merits, although that’s a debate that we should have. Instead, it would simply clarify that if American taxpayer money is all that it will take to get an agreement in Paris, then it’s also going to require the advice and consent of the Senate.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) announced today that he will soon host a toll-free telephone town hall meeting 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), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program of Pennsylvania (APPRISE).
WHAT: A free tele-town hall hosted by Rep. Kelly to discuss Medicare enrollment issues
WHO: Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03)
With special guests:
- Jessica Hill – APPRISE
- John Johnston, Alicia Conti – Public Affairs Specialists, SSA
- Sharon Graham, Kathy Fetterolf, Lynne Tierney, Tammy McCloy — Special Matters Experts, CMS
WHEN: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
TIME: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
CALL-IN INFORMATION: To participate, dial 877-228-2184 and enter event ID 19013 at the time of the event.
ERIE — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement today in response to this morning’s announcement by GE Transportation regarding imminent layoffs at its manufacturing plant in Erie.
“The news today is very unfortunate for the many families in the Erie community that will be effected. There have been troubling signs for a little while now in both the mining and commodities markets, both of which are important to the GE Transportation plant in Erie. Those markets have been down and have yet to rebound. I spoke with the new CEO, Jamie Miller, just a couple of weeks ago in Washington, DC, and she confirmed that these troubling signs would probably lead to a workforce reduction.
“Today’s announcement is also reminder that we need to continue to aggressively support GE’s efforts to secure international orders. Erie plays an important role in GE’s global work, so that when those sales are made, Erie benefits. This is equally as important for the supplier network for GE Transportation and those jobs in Western Pennsylvania.
“Erie is a resilient community and we’ll get through this, but for far too many of our friends and family today is a very tough day.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today after introducing H.R. 3922, the Retirement Choice Protection Act of 2015, with Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX). The legislation will provide a workable “best interest” standard to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule on fiduciary standards.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“The Labor Department’s fiduciary rule will have a devastating impact on the ability of everyday Americans to save for their retirement. By adding a workable best interest standard to this ill-conceived rule, we will ensure that American families can continue to receive affordable investment guidance for a secure retirement while making it easier for small businesses to provide retirement benefits to their employees. I am very proud to work with Chairman Johnson, a longtime leader on retirement issues, on this commonsense legislation to avert unnecessary hardship for Americans caused by yet another harmful Obama administration regulation.”
Statement by Chairman Johnson:
“Yet again the Obama Administration is putting out another harmful rule. This time Obama’s Labor Department is putting out a rule that will hurt hardworking Americans’ ability to save for their retirements. That’s just wrong. To right that wrong, I’m proud to join my colleague Congressman Kelly in introducing commonsense legislation that will ensure Americans can continue to get the help they want, need and deserve when it comes to planning and saving for retirement. Washington should not get in the way of Americans trying to save for retirement”
NOTE: Rep. Kelly is the Republican chairman of the House Retirement Security Caucus. Last month he co-authored a joint letter with Chairman Johnson to Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez to express concerns that the proposed fiduciary rule “will severely disrupt the availability of affordable financial education and investment advice while also restricting product choice and retirement security for many American families” and to urge the secretary to implement “substantial changes” to fix the rule’s shortcomings. The letter was co-signed by 103 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It can be viewed here.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement today after introducing H.R. 3846, the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2015, with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and 8 other original co-sponsors. The bipartisan legislation will amend the nation’s tax code to improve the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“From the Presque Isle Lighthouse in Erie County to the Harrisburg Historic District in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania has a wealth of historic properties and places. Unfortunately, many of these properties are at risk due to neglect. This bipartisan legislation will make much-needed changes to the tax code to better facilitate the reuse of historic buildings. This bill is about preserving the Commonwealth’s history and heritage as well as fostering the growth of local jobs, economic development, and neighborhood privatization in today’s Pennsylvania. It’s a win-win for Pennsylvania’s past, present, and future.”
Statement by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR):
“Celebrating and protecting our historic places creates jobs and makes our homes more livable, from downtown Portland, Oregon, to rural Mercer County, Pennsylvania. The Historic Tax Credit has strengthened communities through preservation and rehabilitation across the country since 1981, generating over $620 million in development in Oregon alone since 2001. Our legislation will bring the Historic Tax Credit into the 21st century—making smaller projects easier, and updating the program to reflect current practices.”
NOTE: The full text of this legislation can be viewed here.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement this evening after voting in opposition to H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015.
“My constituents sent me to Washington to stop the federal government from spending away our children and grandchildren’s futures. Fiscal responsibility has been a guiding principle of mine since my first day in office. After close review, I believe this particular budget deal will reverse the important progress we’ve made in Congress over the last five years and push Washington’s spending problem in the wrong direction. Unlike other agreements in the past, this deal includes no spending caps or reforms to help tackle our nation’s long-term debt crisis but instead removes the debt ceiling for the rest of this presidency. I simply cannot support such a bill, and this evening, I voted against it.”Read More
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) congratulated Washington’s Trail – 1753 today on a technical assistance grant awarded by the National Park Service under its Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program. Washington’s Trail 1753 is a non-profit in Butler County that maintains a driving route commemorating George Washington’s journey through Western Pennsylvania as a young officer at the beginning of the French and Indian War. The RTCA will work with Washington’s Trail 1753 on community outreach, as well as specific project goals, during fiscal year 2016, which began on October 1, 2015 and ends on September 30, 2016.
“I congratulate Washington’s Trail on the grant awarded to them by the National Park Service. Washington’s Trail is an integral part of our country’s early history. I am proud to represent a district with such a rich connection to George Washington, and I believe this grant will go a long way toward preserving his legacy.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) sent a joint letter today to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, emphasizing the danger facing Pennsylvania’s public schools by the state’s ongoing budget dispute and insisting that the governor release federally appropriated funds to keep the schools operating. The letter was co-signed by seven other members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, including Reps. Lou Barletta, Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Keith Rothfus, Tom Marino, Tim Murphy, Bill Shuster, and Scott Perry.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“Apparently Governor Wolf has forgotten that the election was last year and that playing politics is no longer part of his job description. This is not a game for the children, parents, and teachers in our district who will suffer from his stubbornness. It’s time for the governor to govern. Period.”
Text of letter to Governor Wolf:
We write to respectfully request that your administration act immediately to release federal education funds – already appropriated by Congress and dispersed to Pennsylvania – to elementary and secondary schools throughout the Commonwealth. While we acknowledge the state’s right to negotiate a budget that both the state legislature and the governor’s office can agree upon, holding federal education funding hostage during this state budget impasse is unacceptable.
According to a news report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, you have met with representatives of at least one school district which requested an advance on its funding from the state coffers. The newspaper reports that you denied the request, indicating that you would refuse dispersal of funds – even to distressed school districts – until the budget impasse has been solved. We admit that we are perplexed by the cavalier attitude with which you have dismissed the concerns of schools; administrators and faculty; and students and parents.
As you know, the lack of funds has forced schools to take extraordinary measures to keep their doors open. Teachers have gone without pay. Vendors have provided products and services on credit. Schools themselves have taken out private loans. The continued failure to fund Pennsylvania schools could result in school closures as early as November 1, 2015.
We are specifically concerned about Title I, II, and III funding, as well as federal grants provided through the 21st Century Learning Centers Program, which provides critical afterschool programs for at-risk children in our communities. While this money is being held in limbo during your ongoing budget disagreement, school districts in more rural and urban settings are being affected the most. Unfortunately, the school children who need the most support are the ones who will be hit the hardest. Please do not allow partisan conflict to interfere with federal funding that should already be flowing.
We find it alarming that steps have been taken to ensure that certain political employees will continue to be paid while our public schools teeter on the edge of insolvency. News reports indicate that the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus recently received a $1.9 million interest-free advance from the State Treasury to pay staff during the stalemate. Meanwhile, you have inexplicably blocked a similar request from the Erie school district for similar consideration. Schools seeking actual loans are paying four to five percent interest just to keep their doors open, while the House Democratic Caucus continues to run smoothly without interruption or additional cost. This is intolerable and should be embarrassing to all parties involved.
As you surely are aware, Pennylvania and Illinois are the only two states currently operating without budgets in place. We have no doubt that you also know that the Pennsylvania Constitution holds that it is the state’s duty to provide and maintain a “thorough and efficient system of public education.” The current condition of our education system falls far short of this mandate.
We fully understand that the demands on your attention, and that of your staff, are great while the negotiations continue. We simply ask that you make the release of the duly appropriated federal education dollars your top priority at this time.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – participated in this morning’s hearing by the Subcommittee on Oversight on the rising costs of higher education, federal student loan debt, and related tax policy.
Excerpt of Rep. Kelly’s remarks:
“This is about, ‘Are we getting the best return on the investment for hardworking American taxpayers?’ … And I think this is where we’re really trying to come to: the best return on investment. Because we all know the way out of poverty is education, but [it should be an] education for something that actually gets you to where you need to go and not just a degree that’s accompanied with a lot of debt … a destination that you can reach that’s going to lift you out of [poverty].”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – sent a letter today to Ambassador Michael Froman, the United States Trade Representative, formally requesting that he secures “a significant opening” of access to U.S. sugar markets in ongoing negotiations with member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The bipartisan letter was co-authored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and is co-signed by 43 other members of the House of Representatives, including a total of 10 members of the Ways and Means Committee.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“Current sugar tariffs are hurting American consumers and businesses by keeping our sugar prices unfairly high and our sugar-using industries — and the countless jobs they support — at needless risk. Expanding our sugar market for our trading partners will bring sugar prices dramatically down for American families and factories while increasing supplies and boosting competition among American companies.”
Text of Rep. Kelly and Rep. Blumenauer’s letter to Ambassador Froman:
As Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations move towards completion, we write to urge you to reach a comprehensive agreement that includes commercially meaningful liberalization of the sugar trade among TPP member countries, thereby significantly expanding U.S. sugar imports to meet domestic demand.
American consumers and food companies face high domestic sugar prices and tight domestic sugar supplies. At times, the U.S. domestic price for sugar has been double that of the world price, costing U.S. consumers and businesses an estimated $15 billion since 2008. That is because U.S. demand for sugar far exceeds both domestic production and allowed foreign imports under our current and outmoded tariff-rate quotas. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that U.S. sugar imports will total 3.5 million metric tons from 2014-15, while the U.S. import need will increase to 4.5 million metric tons by 2025. This shows a need, and the space, for additional sugar imports. As a result, a significant opening of access to sugar increases competitiveness in the U.S. sugar market, improves efficiency, and reduces costs for consumers and businesses.
Furthermore, opening the U.S. sugar market for our TPP negotiating partners also encourages reciprocal market access for a wide range of exporters of U.S. goods and services, including export-oriented, globally competitive food companies, farmers, and ranchers, and advances the goal of a comprehensive trade agreement.
American jobs depend on access to sugar. The U.S. has lost more than 120,000 jobs in sugar-using industries over the last fifteen years according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and increasing U.S. access to sugar can help to reverse this trend of job losses.
Here is a snapshot of U.S. jobs that are put at risk by the lack of access to sugar. Sugar-using businesses include manufacturers of bakery, confectionary, dairy, soft drink, and other food products made with nutritive sweeteners. They include small and medium-size, family-owned businesses to multi-national companies with global brands, with manufacturing facilities in all fifty states. Sugar-using businesses also support other industries: agriculture, retail, transportation and other industries rely in part on the sale of confections in order to flourish.
We thank you for your commitment to concluding an ambitious and balanced TPP that will boost the economy of the U.S. and its trading partners, and we ask you to include significantly improved market access for sugar as part of that agreement. As always, we look forward to working with you on this and other important issues.
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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