Patrick Meehan

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Meehan Works to Ensure Honest VA Claims Accounting

2015/03/27

SPRINGFIELD, PA –  Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) today wrote Allison Hickey, the Undersecretary for Benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking clarification on recently-announced changes to the VA’s appeals and claims filing system. The VA announced this week that all claims must now utilize a new, standardized form or the claim will instead be classified as an “intent to file.” Meehan expressed concern over how claims backlog information would be accounted for under the new system, and that reported backlog information be accurate. “This information is essential so that I may provide accurate information to constituent veterans seeking my office’s assistance. It is also critical to on-going congressional oversight into the claims backlog and reports of mismanagement, particularly at the VA Philadelphia Area Regional Office,” he wrote. The full text of Meehan’s letter is below, and a PDF version is available here.   The Honorable Allison Hickey Under Secretary for Benefits Department of Veterans Affairs 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420   Dear Under Secretary Hickey, Thank you for your service to our nation’s veterans. Our veterans deserve the very best care after serving to protect us here at home. I write to you today to seek clarification on the Department’s changes to its claims and appeals filing system. On March 25, 2015, the VA announced a new policy of using standardized claim and appeal forms, part of an effort to streamline claims processing, reduce wait-times and better serve America’s veterans. Existing claims, or “informal claims,” will be transferred to a new “intent to file” process. I appreciate how using standardized claims forms can improve future claims processing. But I am concerned with how this transition will affect congressional oversight and transparency. Please confirm how claims filed under both the standardized process and the “intent to file” system will be accounted for and reported to Congress. Will claims now classified as “intent to file” be included in claims backlog statistics? This information is essential so that I may provide accurate information to constituent veterans seeking my office’s assistance. It is also critical to on-going congressional oversight into the claims backlog and reports of mismanagement, particularly at the VA Philadelphia Area Regional Office. Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this matter. Please contact my office if you have any questions.   Sincerely,     Patrick Meehan Member of Congress Read More

Meehan: Landmark Medicare Vote

2015/03/26

Preserves access to care for seniors, improves critical insurance program for children WASHINGTON, DC– The House of Representatives today passed major bipartisan Medicare reform legislation that protects access to health care for seniors by permanently repealing its flawed physician payment formula. The formula, called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), was created in 1997 as a well-intentioned but flawed means of limiting spending on Medicare. Since then, Congress has acted 17 times to temporarily put off SGR’s payment cuts – cuts that would jeopardize access to health care for seniors. Congressman Patrick Meehan, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, issued the following statement after today’s vote: “The SGR’s cuts would severely limit access to lifesaving medical care for seniors,” said Congressman Meehan. “After 17 short-term patches to avert draconian, double-digit cuts in physician payments, Democrats and Republicans have come together to fix the broken SGR system permanently. This isn’t just good for seniors’ care and our health care workforce. It’s a sign partisan differences in Washington can be bridged to address our biggest challenges.” “This bill also extends and strengthens the Children’s Health Insurance Program for another two years – a critical component of our health care safety net for low-income families. It also preserves important funding for community health centers that serve the most vulnerable,” Meehan continued. “It is my hope that the Senate will pass this measure quickly and send it to the President’s desk.” Meehan spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation before the vote. The legislation passed the House minutes ago by a vote of 392-37. Read More

Meehan Bill Cements New Protections for Taxpayers

2015/03/25

“Sends clear signal that no American shall be targeted for political views” WASHINGTON, DC– The House Committee on Ways and Means today approved a series of bills that enhance protections for taxpayers in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service, increase transparency and hold IRS employees accountable. H.R. 1314, introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07) and among the legislation approved by the committee today, codifies the right to an appeals process for non-profit organizations whose tax-exempt status has been denied by the Internal Revenue Service. “This common sense legislation cements new taxpayer protections in statute and sends the clear signal that no American or group of Americans shall be targeted by their IRS for their political views,” Meehan said. “As we saw with IRS scandals of the last year, non-profit groups seeking tax-exempt status can be subject to the whims of politically motivated persons inside the bureaucracy. This is unfair and a gross violation of the trust we place in public officials to administer the laws impartially. Past IRS abuses only underscore the need for new protections to ensure a fair and transparent appeals process,” Meehan added. “All organizations seeking 501(c)4 status should be entitled to an impartial application review process by the IRS,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), who chairs the Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight. “This should, at a minimum, include the option to directly petition the IRS if a group’s request for tax exemption is rejected. I applaud Congressman Meehan for spearheading this noncontroversial bill to grant organizations this fundamental right to appeal adverse determinations by the IRS.” Similar legislation, H.R. 5419, was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives during the 113th Congress. The legislation never received a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate.   Read More

Meehan: Draft Philly VA Report “A Stunning Rebuke of VA Leadership”

2015/03/25

“Sec. McDonald must hold those responsible accountable … Enough is enough” WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7) today issued the following statement after reports of the results of an Inspector General’s investigation into the Philadelphia Department of Veterans’ Affairs Regional Office. The report indicates the investigation reveals evidence of “shoddy record-keeping, bungled claims, inadequate security, and poor working conditions.” “The draft IG report is a stunning rebuke of the VA’s leadership, both in Washington and at the Philadelphia Regional Office,” said Congressman Meehan. “The report due out in the next few days will confirm what has been revealed over the last year, that the Philadelphia VA Regional Office is letting our veterans and their families down through a combination of incompetence and negligence.” “Since allegations of impropriety emerged last year, the VA has been uncooperative and unresponsive. That must stop. Secretary McDonald must hold those responsible accountable and take corrective action. Enough is enough,” Meehan added. Just last week, the VA’s Deputy Inspector General testified in a congressional hearing that “if you had a check list of possible problem areas…you could have checked just about every one of them that came to our attention in Philly – as far as misplaced mail, unprocessed claims, there were issues in the veterans service center, they’ve got an insurance center up there, they’ve got two call centers, we had issues in all of those locations…as far as how it might compare to other facilities, it’s very bad.” “The comments by the IG in Thursday’s hearing are striking,” Meehan said at the time. “This is just the latest sign of the deep dysfunction within the Philadelphia VA, and it seems that the IG report will confirm our worst fears about the activities going on there. I’m looking forward to receiving the IG report in the next two weeks – as well as a full accounting by the VA of the steps it has taken to address the issues raised.” Read More

Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Manufacturing Legislation

2015/03/18

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Patrick Meehan (R-PA) joined Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Chris Collins (R-NY), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Rodney Davis (R-IL) in introducing the bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act. Their bill would establish a Manufacturing Universities program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Colleges and universities with existing engineering programs would be eligible to apply for the Manufacturing University designation, which would include up to $5 million annually for four years to improve engineering programs with an emphasis on manufacturing, increase the number of joint projects with manufacturing firms, and support students who participate in cooperative education and apprenticeships with manufacturers. “Pennsylvania is the nation’s sixth largest manufacturing state and manufacturing employs nearly 600,000 Pennsylvanians,” said Congressman Meehan (R-PA). “This bipartisan legislation will help revitalize our manufacturing industry, provide workers with the skills they need to compete, and assist our universities in training the next generation of manufacturing workers. I’m pleased to work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to expand opportunity for hardworking Pennsylvania families.” “Connecticut is built on its strong manufacturing tradition and thrives as a national leader in manufacturing, particularly for defense, biomedical, and energy industries,” said Congresswoman Esty (D-CT). “Our state is home to over 5,000 manufacturers that provide good-paying jobs for Connecticut families, but manufacturers often struggle to find workers with the right skills. I’m proud to join this bipartisan coalition in introducing our Manufacturing Universities Act. By providing additional support for manufacturing in engineering programs at colleges like the University of Connecticut, we can prepare the next generation of engineers for exciting—and in-demand—manufacturing jobs.” “As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers,” said Congressman Collins (R-NY). “To expand manufacturing in the United States, we need to have a workforce capable of filling these skilled jobs. I am proud to join Rep. Esty, Rep. Meehan, Rep. Tonko, Rep. Davis, and Rep. Thompson in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will provide partnering colleges and universities the resources necessary to equip their students with the skills needed to succeed in manufacturing.” “American manufacturing represents almost $2 trillion in economic activity each year – a figure that could increase if we invest in our workers and narrow the skills gap that stands between the unemployed and unfilled jobs,” said Congressman Tonko (D-NY). “This bicameral, bipartisan legislation is critical to educating our workforce and supporting continued economic growth through innovation. I look forward to working with Representatives Esty, Collins, Meehan, Davis, and Thompson to see this bill passed and having New York’s robust manufacturing sector, working in concert with our fine colleges and universities, provide fertile ground for continued job growth.” "Today, more and more of our manufacturing jobs are reliant upon well-trained engineers," said Congressman Davis (R-IL).  "This bill will help build manufacturing programs within colleges and universities that already have excellent engineering programs like the University of Illinois in my district. By training future engineers, we will support good-paying, manufacturing jobs for middle class Americans." “High-tech manufacturing can be big part of economic foundation so long as people have the skills and training they need to fill the jobs,” said Congressman Thompson (D-CA). “By investing in manufacturing universities we can train a new generation of workers who will compete for high-skilled jobs that pay good wages. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation and equip students with the tools they need to fill new in-demand manufacturing jobs.” The Manufacturing Universities Act has been referred to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill is bipartisan and bicameral. The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). ### Read More

Meehan to Host Academy Day Information Session

2015/03/12

Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7) will host an information session for students interested in attending the nation’s uniformed service academies this Saturday at Valley Forge Military Academy in Radnor, Delaware County. Representatives from each of the service academies will be on hand to answer questions about the application and nomination process. Students residing in the 7th District interested in attending one of the academies are encouraged to attend with their families.   WHAT: Academy Day Information Session   WHO: Congressman Patrick Meehan Representatives from the Nation’s Service Academies   WHERE: Valley Forge Military Academy Mellon Ballroom 1001 Eagle Road Wayne, PA 19087   WHEN: Saturday, March 14 Registration Begins at 9:00am Program Begins at 10:00am Open House Until 12:00pm   For more information, contact Congressman Meehan’s District Office at (610) 690-7323.   Read More

Meehan: Netanyahu Address “A Call for Caution on Iran”

2015/03/03

WASHINGTON, DC– Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7) today issued the following statement after the address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress: “A nuclear Iran poses a grave danger to Israel’s very existence and America’s own security,” said Congressman Meehan. “Iran itself has called for the destruction of Israel and its proxies continue to recruit and train extremists. A nuclear Iran would set off an arms race across the Middle East. Simply put, Iran must not be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon, and any deal that does not stop a nuclear Iran from becoming a reality is worse than no deal at all.” “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address this morning was a call for caution on Iran. He carefully laid out Iran’s history of supporting terror and Islamic extremism and articulated why permitting Iran to develop nuclear weapons would be a disaster for the West. It’s an important message for Congress – and the nation – to hear as we approach the deadline for a deal with Iran. I’m grateful to the Prime Minister for joining us this morning and sharing his views on an issue vital to the security of both our nations.” ### Read More

Bipartisan Coalition of House Members Will Reintroduce Campus Accountability and Safety Act Companion

2015/02/26

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and a bipartisan coalition of other House members will soon introduce the House companion to the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA), which was today unveiled by a bipartisan group of eight Senators. Maloney introduced similar legislation in the 113th Congress with a bipartisan group of 18 House members. “I am working to assemble a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to support passage of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act in the House,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). “I am deeply disturbed by the shocking statistics and accounts of sexual violence on campuses. Surviving sexual assault shouldn’t be part of getting a college degree. Our legislation is vital to addressing the causes and outcomes of these sex crimes.” “As a prosecutor, I worked closely with the victims of sexual assault,” said Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA). “This bipartisan legislation takes prudent steps to improve protections for victims and get them the resources they need in the wake of attack. No American student should have to fear sexual assault on a college campus.” Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Congressman David Joyce (R-OH), Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL), Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) plan to cosponsor the measure. A full list of original cosponsors will be announced when the legislation is introduced. “I’m so encouraged this legislation will be reintroduced in the 114th Congress,” said Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) “Campus sexual assault is a serious crime affecting too many young people that must be proactively addressed. Our higher education administrators need more guidance and more access to best practices in learning how to prevent assaults, support victims and adjudicate cases in the most effective and fair manner. This legislation will help accomplish these goals.” “No student should live in fear of being the victim of sexual assault, and we must work together to protect students, empower survivors, and hold perpetrators fully accountable,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL). “I am proud to help lead this continued bipartisan effort to combat the sexual assault crisis we are grappling with on America’s college campuses. Sexual assault is a staggeringly common and underreported crime that our bill will help put an end to and ensure its survivors are not being swept under the rug.” "This bipartisan legislation aims at making our college campuses safer so that students can learn in a secure environment and parents can have peace of mind," said Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL). “I am pleased that both Republicans and Democrats have come together to re-introduce this vital legislation,” said Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).  “Last year, I had the opportunity to discuss this bill with students and faculty at the University of Kansas and listen to their concerns. There is good work being done there and across the country to address campus safety, but this bill is an opportunity to greatly improve this important effort. We will continue to work tirelessly until all college campuses are places that foster learning and not places where the safety of their students are at an increased risk.” “As a former prosecutor with two daughters in college, we need to do everything we can to stop sexual assault on college campuses,” said Congressman David Joyce (R-OH). “I’m glad to support this bill with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure these crimes will be fully prosecuted and, more importantly, we can provide more tools to try and prevent them from occurring.” “No student should ever feel unsafe on his or her college campus, the place they call home for four years. We must ensure that our schools have the tools and resources they need to address and prevent the extremely disturbing prevalence of sexual assault on campus,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), who has been working with college officials, law enforcement, and students in her district to establish a plan for preventing sexual assault at colleges. I’m proud to help reintroduce this legislation, which will increase transparency at schools and help ensure action is being taken to tackle this problem head on.”  CASA takes aim at addressing sexual assaults on college and university campuses by protecting and empowering students, strengthening accountability and transparency for institutions and establishing stiff penalties for non-compliance with the legislation’s new standards for training, data and best practices. The legislation this Congress incorporates feedback from a range of stakeholders and makes changes to strengthen the climate surveys, coordination with local law enforcement, rights to due process, and the role of a confidential advisor, as well as creating a new competitive grant to research best practices for improving prevention of and response to sexual assault on our nation’s campuses. Maloney has previously led efforts to address campus sexual assault. The 2013 Violence Against Women Act reauthorization included the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Maloney in the House, which mandated changes to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). The Department of Education issued final regulation in October 2014 to fully implement the law. Read More

Bipartisan College Savings Bill Passes House

2015/02/25

Meehan: Bipartisan Vote Signals “529 Plans Ought to Be Around to Help Middle-Class for Long Time to Come”  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Pat Meehan issued the following statement after the House passed bipartisan legislation today to strengthen popular “529” college savings accounts: “The rising cost of tuition is putting college beyond the reach of too many middle-class families, and 529 plans have been an effective way for struggling families to make the dream of higher education a reality,” Meehan said. “Not only does this bipartisan legislation make important updates to the existing law, but it also reaffirms Congress’s clear intent that tax-advantaged 529 plans be around to help middle-class families for a long time to come.” 529 plans – named for Section 529 of the tax code – are tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts that have proved popular for many American families. Parents can deposit funds in 529 accounts established for their children and withdraw the savings tax-advantaged to pay for college tuition, fees, books and room-and-board. The bill the House passed today clarifies that computers are an eligible expense for 529 funds, removes outdated and unnecessary paperwork requirements, and permits the redeposit of refunds from colleges without penalty if a student withdraws from school within the first two months because of illness or other reasons. The President recently announced support for eliminating the tax-advantages of 529 plans, a move Meehan said would only add to the burdens middle-class families have in making ends meet and saving for their kids’ future. The bill passed the House by a 401-20 vote, with 161 Democrats voting to support it. Read More

Meehan: More Information-Sharing, Communication Important to Combating Cyber Threats

2015/02/10

SPRINGFIELD, PA– Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7) today issued the following statement after Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, announced the formation of a new agency to combat the threat of cyberattack. Modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the agency will “fuse intelligence from around the government when a crisis occurs”, the Washington Post reported. “Efforts to improve communication and information-sharing among law enforcement and our intelligence community are vital to combating the cyber threat,” said Congressman Meehan. “And I’m pleased the Administration continues to indicate that it appreciates just how serious the threat of cyberattack has become. But as always, the devil is in the details, and I’m anxious to learn more about how this agency will be developed, who will participate, and what safeguards will be put in place to protect privacy rights.” “Important progress was made with the authorization of the National Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Center last year,” Meehan continued. “The Administration should build on the NCCIC’s fundamental role in real-time cyber information integration and explain how the new agency will avoid overlap and redundancy.” Meehan serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and chaired the cybersecurity subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee in the 113th Congress. Meehan worked alongside Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul last year to develop and pass the first major bipartisan cybersecurity legislation signed into law in over a decade. Read More

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Contact Information

204 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2011
Fax 202-226-0280
meehan.house.gov

Patrick Meehan represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in the United States Congress.

Currently serving his second term in Congress, Meehan serves on the Oversight and Government Reform, Homeland Security, Transportation and Infrastructure, and House Ethics Committees. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Meehan was appointed Chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

Prior to his election to the United States Congress, Meehan earned an impressive record as one of the Philadelphia area’s most respected prosecutors. Appointed by the President, Meehan served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a position that made him the top federal prosecutor in a district that spanned nine counties with a population of over five million residents.

Sworn in just six days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Meehan immediately went to work combating the threat of terrorism. He set up an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council to coordinate the region’s response to the attacks. The ATAC quickly became a national model for coordination among law enforcement agencies and ensured that critical information and intelligence on terrorist threats was disseminated to the appropriate federal, state and local law enforcement personnel.

While U.S. Attorney, Meehan took on nursing homes neglecting seniors, drug companies defrauding customers and pioneered innovative new strategies to combat domestic violence. Meehan also prosecuted cases under Operation Stolen Valor, an initiative that took in individuals who falsely claimed to have won military awards and decorations. He was appointed by the Attorney General to sit on the Corporate Fraud Task Force and prosecuted government contractors overcharging taxpayers.

During his tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia became a national leader in prosecuting corrupt government officials. Meehan helped to put behind bars some of the biggest names in Philadelphia’s corrupt pay-to-play political culture, including former Philadelphia Treasurer Corey Kemp, Councilman Rick Mariano, and State Senator Vincent Fumo. Meehan earned praise from both sides of the aisle for his integrity and his commitment to rooting out political corruption.

Prior to his appointment as United States Attorney, Meehan served as the District Attorney of Delaware County. As D.A., he successfully prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the murder trial of millionaire John DuPont and the trial of the murderer of local college student Aimee Willard. Meehan formed the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a working group dedicated to protecting children from online predators.

A native of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, Meehan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Temple University School of Law. Prior to entering public service, Congressman Meehan spent two years as a referee in the National Hockey League. Meehan, his wife Carolyn, and their three sons live in Drexel Hill, Delaware County.


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