WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding four letters he authored and submitted 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. Each letter requested updated and strengthened language prohibiting federal funding of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in each of the subcommittees’ respective appropriation bills for fiscal year 2016.
Statement by Rep. Kelly
“The power of the purse is a critical weapon in our fight to stop the ATT from ever being implemented. The sovereignty of our country and the rights of our people are far too precious to be left vulnerable to this dangerous treaty. Especially with this president’s appetite for unilateral, unconstitutional action overwhelmingly clear, our vigilance matters more than ever.”
NOTE: Signatories of Rep. Kelly’s letters include 6 committee chairmen: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL), as well as Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX).
BACKGROUND: Rep. Kelly is a national leader of the movement to stop the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). On March 15, 2013, he introduced H. Con. Res. 23, a bipartisan concurrent resolution expressing opposition to the treaty on behalf of members of Congress. The resolution earned 149 co-sponsors in the House and 36 supporters in the Senate.
On May 30, 2013, Rep. Kelly submitted a bipartisan letter with 130 co-signers from Congress to both President Obama and Secretary Kerry urging them to reject the treaty. He sent a similar bipartisan letter to the president following Secretary Kerry’s signing of the treaty on October 15, 2013, which was signed by 181 members of Congress, including multiple committee chairmen. A follow-up letter was sent to the White House on April, 20, 2014.
On 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 22, 2014, the House passed H.R. 4335, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015, which included Rep. Kelly’s amendment to continue the Defense Department’s ban on funding for the ATT.
On September 5, 2014, Rep. Kelly submitted a letter to President Obama voicing opposition to the planned First Conference of State Parties (CSP) to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) – a UN-backed gathering to shape the future of the ATT – due to its exclusion of any organizations critical of the treaty.
On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2015, which includes a ban on federal funding for the ATT’s implementation. The president signed the final version of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2015 (H.R. 3979) on December 19, 2014, which included a similar ban.
On March 2, 2015, Rep. Kelly sent a letter to President Obama co-signed by 34 new members of Congress elected in 2014 to express unified opposition to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and a firm commitment to deny any federal funding for the treaty’s implementation.
First real entitlement reform achieved in decades
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives today in support of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and replaces it with a formula that returns stability to Medicare physician payments. The proposal would institute a 0.5 percent payment update every year for five years, and would improve the fee-for-service system by streamlining Medicare’s existing web of quality assurance programs into one value-based performance program, (moving away from the current volume-based system). The House passed the legislation this afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 392-37.
Highlights of Rep. Kelly’s floor remarks:
“This is not so much a ‘doc fix’ as a ‘senior fix.’ … I have been there for the birth of my four children, [and] I have celebrated the birth of our 10 grandchildren. Those are great moments, but I have also sat by the bedside of my mother, my sister, and my father as they lay dying and were transitioning. Those losses are things you can never truly regain, and those are times that if you just had one minute left with those folks, wouldn’t you love to have that? Wouldn’t you love to be there to give them peace of mind? This bill gives them peace of mind, Mr. Speaker. That’s what this bill does. This is a senior fix.”
“As I have watched people pass, both friends and family, what they wanted at their bedside at their time is their faith … the comfort of knowing that their family is with them helping them get through the toughest parts of their life when they’re the most vulnerable … and lastly, they want their doctor. They want to know that that person who has guided them for the last several months and through their lives – the person they have always gone to for their health care – is going to be there and not taken away because of some government program that didn’t work.”
“So I would say as we sit in America’s House, whether we’re Republicans or Democrats, we are people representing people in the best interest of people. This piece of legislation today is truly a senior fix, but a fix for the most vulnerable. I can think of nothing that we could do that is more important than giving peace of mind to those who have given so much to us as families, as states, and as a country. This is a brilliant piece of legislation. And while it may not satisfy all, it serves the needs of many.”
BACKGROUND: The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is a formula that was enacted in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to control Medicare spending on physician services. However, the SGR policy flaws have compelled Congress to override the formula-driven cuts for more than a decade. In fact, since 2003, Congress has spent nearly $170 billion in short-term patches to avoid these unsustainable cuts. The most recent patch will expire on March 31, 2015. H.R. 2 repeals the SGR, averting a 21 percent SGR-induced cut scheduled for April 1, 2015.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers more than 8 million children and pregnant women in families that earn income above Medicaid eligibility levels. CHIP prevents millions of children from being uninsured, while keeping them in private coverage models. Although CHIP is authorized through 2019, no new funding is available after FY 2015. H.R. 2 fully funds CHIP through FY 2017.
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. Con. Res. 27, the budget resolution for fiscal year 2016 produced by the House Budget Committee also known as A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America. Rep. Kelly also voted to support the House-passed substitute amendment introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) which increases funding for the Pentagon's war fund (the Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism Function) above President Obama’s request and is consistent with the national defense dollar amount formally requested by 70 House Republicans, including Rep. Kelly, in a letter to Speaker Boehner last month.
“I am proud to once again support a responsible plan that balances the federal budget in less than 10 years and reins in our national debt without raising a single penny in new taxes. The plan would also fully repeal Obamacare – including all of the law’s expensive taxes, regulations, and mandates – and implement commonsense tax reform to help boost our economy. It stands in incredible contrast to President Obama’s reckless proposal which includes $2.1 trillion in new taxes, $8.5 trillion in more debt, and never balances — ever, all while leaving our nation’s promises to seniors on the road to bankruptcy. Above all, I am relieved that our plan meets its Constitutional obligation to fully equip our nation’s defenders with the tools they need to protect our country, defeat our enemies, and remain the world’s most fearsome military at this time of great global havoc.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – issued the following statement after today’s Ways and Means committee mark-up hearing at which the committee approved H.R. 1026, the Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act, which Rep. Kelly introduced in the House of Representatives on February 26, 2015. H.R. 1026 would amend the tax code to stop the IRS’s misuse of a provision designed to protect taxpayers to instead protect government employees who improperly look at or reveal taxpayer information.
“I strongly applaud the committee for its favorable mark-up of this commonsense bill to stop personal taxpayer information from being leaked by the IRS. When such a breach of trust is committed, the most feared federal agency must not be permitted to hide behind provisions meant to protect taxpayers in the first place. Americans rightly expect and deserve transparency from their government and to be treated fairly. This bill is a serious step toward repairing the broken trust between the American people and their government.”
BACKGROUND: On May 13, 2013, it was revealed that the IRS division headed by now-retired official Lois Lerner shared highly confidential tax-exempt status applications from multiple conservative groups with ProPublica, a private outside organization. In October 2013, it was reported that the agency “shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law.”
H.R. 1026 would amend the tax code to permit the release of certain information regarding the status of ongoing investigations related to the improper disclosure of taxpayer information by IRS employees. Under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, it is currently a felony for an IRS official to disclose such information to the public or to another government agency, which bars victims of wrongful IRS leaks from knowing the status of their no-longer private information.
NOTE: Since news of the IRS targeting scandal first broke in May 2013, Rep. Kelly has been a prominent vocal leader in the ongoing pursuit for answers and accountability. After earning a standing ovation for his fierce scolding of then-IRS commissioner Steven Miller at the Ways and Means Committee’s first-ever hearing on the scandal, The Washington Post’s Right Turn blog named Rep. Kelly its “Distinguished Pol of the Week.” The New York Post declared that Rep. Kelly’s words “ought to be emblazoned across the entryway of every IRS office in America.”
In response to the scandal, Rep. Kelly re-introduced the Government Employee Accountability Act, which would grant all federal agencies the power to fire reckless Senior Executive Service employees (such as ex-IRS official 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 the Stop Government Abuse Act (H.R. 2879) by a bipartisan vote of 239-176. Rep. Kelly re-introduced the bill once again on February 4, 2015.
WASHINGTON — House Automotive Caucus co-chairs Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), vice co-chairs Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), and other members of the bipartisan caucus joined leaders from major industry groups yesterday evening at a kick-off event to officially launch the caucus for the 114th Congress.
Statement by Rep. Kelly (R-PA), Co-Chair:
“I’ve been a car guy all my life. My dad was a parts picker in a GM warehouse after World War II, who then began an automobile business that has now spanned three generations. I know what cars mean to our country, to our communities, and to our economy. For the sake of millions of jobs, drivers, and families, our bipartisan caucus will be devoted to making the American automotive industry as strong and vibrant as it can possibly be. Together, my co-chair Rep. Kaptur and I are ready to demonstrate that teamwork can still make a difference in Washington for the good of our entire country. Last night’s kick-off celebration was surely a sign of great success to come.”
Statement by Rep. Kaptur (D-OH), Co-Chair:
“The auto industry is part of everyday life for millions of working families throughout the U.S. We have a responsibility to protect and support this critical industry, which means taking an active role in international diplomacy and the global marketplace. The work before us in this Congress includes fighting for an active role in ongoing trade negotiations to make sure they benefit our auto industry, and driving policy efforts that will position America to lead the world in manufacturing innovation. That is why this Caucus is so important, and I am thrilled to see so many Caucus Members and industry leaders come together around an issue that is so critical for our nation’s working families.”
Statement by Rep. Kildee (D-MI), Vice Co-Chair:
“Michigan is the birthplace of the automotive industry and the state that put the world on wheels. Today, our state produces more vehicles than any other state in the country, and our domestic auto industry supports hundreds of thousands of good-paying manufacturing and supplier jobs. I am excited to be a Vice Chair of the Congressional Auto Caucus and look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to promote our automotive industry and its workers, who continue to drive our economy and build world-class automobiles that are sold all around the world.”
Statement by Rep. Fleischmann (R-TN), Vice Co-Chair:
“The auto industry is a vital part of our national economy, employing millions of hardworking Americans throughout the United States. In the third district, we are fortunate to house the nation’s top Volkswagen plant, which created 2,000 new jobs in East Tennessee over the past year. In addition, the booming auto parts industry in our district helps fuel our local community and our national economy. These manufacturers not only produce jobs, but they also promote innovation and competitiveness. As a member of the Auto Caucus, I am working with my colleagues to encourage auto manufacturing and expand this industry. The economic impact of the auto industry is powerful, and we must do all we can to support automakers and their hardworking employees.”
Statement by Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the Auto Alliance:
“It is a great honor to help kick-off the Auto Caucus and welcome everyone to the 114th Congress. The Auto Caucus plays a key role in the exchange of information between the auto industry and policy makers on Capitol Hill. As we continue to achieve greater advancements in safety, technology and fuel economy, it is vital that we educate and work with our friends and colleagues both on and off the Hill.”
Statement by John Bozzella, President & CEO of the Association of Global Automakers:
“The landscape of the U.S. auto industry of 2015 looks vastly different than it did even 10 years ago. We are excited about the reinvigoration of the House Auto Caucus to help tell this story, and look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that we maintain the balance of consumer choice and economic viability.”
NOTE: The U.S. auto industry employs an estimated 7.25 million U.S. workers with 2.44 million automaker jobs, 3.16 million auto supplier jobs and 1.65 million auto dealer jobs. In 2014, manufacturers contributed $2.09 trillion to the U.S. economy, accounting for 12% of U.S. GDP. The auto industry alone accounts for an estimated $950 billion added to the nation’s economy each year.
BACKGROUND: Created in 1983, the House Automotive Caucus has a long history of reaching across the aisle to promote a strong and vibrant American automotive industry. Supported by a diverse group of automotive associations, the Caucus will continue the tradition of working with industry stakeholders to educate Capitol Hill policy makers and advance a legislative agenda that encourages an innovative, competitive, and growing automotive sector. The bipartisan Caucus currently has 59 members.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), along with Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Richard Neal (D-MA), are pleased to announce that the House Small Brewers Caucus has been reestablished in the 114th Congress. Founded by Reps. DeFazio and Greg Walden (R-OR) in 2007, this bipartisan group is dedicated to issues affecting America’s small brewers and currently includes 143 members of the House of Representatives.
Statement by Rep. Kelly, Co-Chairman:
“I am very excited to begin work with the Small Brewers Caucus and honored to serve as a co-chairman. These main street businesses contribute powerfully to their local economies and provide many thousands of jobs to hardworking Americans from coast to coast. In Pennsylvania alone, craft breweries add to the commonwealth’s economy by nearly $2 billion. I look forward to making sure national policy allows them to keep brewing, growing, and creating more American jobs.”
Statement by Rep. DeFazio, Co-Chairman:
“If you need an example of how craft breweries affect local economies, just look at Oregon. Even during the recession, craft breweries experienced strong growth and today, it’s a $3 billion industry in my state. These small businesses support thousands of local jobs and provide the rest of us with a quality American product. This is exactly the kind of growth I’m proud to support.”
Statement by Rep. McHenry, Vice Chairman:
"With over 20 small breweries in the 10th District I know the positive, job-creating impact these small businesses can have. I look forward to continuing as Vice Chairman of the Caucus as we work in a bipartisan fashion to advance their interests."
Statement by Rep. Neal, Vice Chairman:
“The craft brewing industry in Massachusetts is thriving because they make distinctive products for passionate consumers. These breweries are locally owned, generate economic development and create good jobs. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of these small businesses and entrepreneurs and I am proud to be a part of the leadership of this bipartisan caucus.”
Statement by Bob Pease, President and CEO, Brewers Association:
“The Brewers Association would like to congratulate Rep. DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Neal (D-MA) and Rep. McHenry (R-NC), Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs, respectively, of the House Small Brewers Caucus. They and the other 143 members of Congress who make up the Caucus recognize the economic impact that craft breweries have had over the past 25 years and continue to have in their communities across the country. More than 3,400 craft breweries are responsible for employing more than 115,000 Americans in quality manufacturing and service jobs. We thank the Chairs and Vice Chairs for their efforts, which help foster the continued growth of—and job creation by—craft breweries across the country.”
NOTE: Craft brewing is a fast-growing, $34 billion+ industry that directly supports 115,000 American jobs. In order to create a better business environment for small brewers, the Caucus is backing legislation that would reduce the excise taxes on the sale of the first two million barrels of beer sold by small brewers each year. The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce (BREW) Act would allow small brewers to use the savings to purchase more equipment and hire more workers, boosting local economies in communities across the country.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) will host a special toll-free telephone town hall meeting tonight for constituents of the Third District to communicate with liaisons from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the basics of filing individual income taxes.
WHAT: A free tele-town hall hosted by Rep. Kelly to help constituents during tax filing season
WHO: Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) With special guests: Regis P. Bodnar — Senior Stakeholder Relationship Tax Consultant, IRS Frank Quinn — IRS Governmental Liaison, Pennsylvania
DATE: TONIGHT - Tuesday, March 10, 2015
TIME: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
CALL-IN INFORMATION: To participate, dial 877-228-2184 and enter event ID 19013 at the time of the event.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) arrived in Selma, Alabama, today to participate in this weekend’s 2015 Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma-to-Montgomery March, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Statement by Rep. Kelly:
“Fifty years ago, a generation of the 20th century’s bravest Americans fought for something they should never have had to fight for: basic freedom and equality before law, as envisioned by our founding Declaration. This weekend, it is my honor to be here at the site of that fight to pay tribute to the hard-fought victories that made our great nation even greater and stronger. I am personally proud to have my grandson George accompanying me so that he may witness this historic pilgrimage firsthand and may carry the experience with him – along with the solemn meaning beneath it all – until the march’s 100th anniversary, and God willing, beyond.”
WASHINGTON — On March 4, 2015, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) joined Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Dan Coats (R-IN) in introducing a concurrent resolution to honor the life of Father Theodore Hesburgh, president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, who passed away on February 26, 2015. Rep. Kelly – a member of the Notre Dame Class of 1970 – also honored Fr. Hesburgh with a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea – sent a letter of support today to Mark W. Lippert, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Korea, following yesterday’s knife attack.
Text of Rep. Kelly’s letter to Ambassador Lippert:
It was with profound shock that I learned of the horrific attack on you in the course of your duties yesterday in Seoul. As a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, I want to convey my thoughts and prayers to you on a full and speedy recovery. Please know that my colleagues in the Congress also share in the sentiment of our collective support for you and your family during this difficult time.
As you’re well aware, the U.S.-Korea alliance is the linchpin of America’s foreign and national security policy in Asia. You stand at the forefront of this key relationship and I wish to commend you for your good work in both strengthening and enlarging it.
Once again, please accept my best wishes on your recovery and thank you for your incredible service to our great nation.
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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