FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday May 16, 2018
Duffy Co-Introduces Housing Voucher Mobility Legislation
Bipartisan legislation aimed at alleviating poverty
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today co-introduced the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018 with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). The legislation would authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to carry out a housing choice voucher mobility demonstration to encourage families receiving such voucher assistance to move to lower-poverty areas and expand access to opportunity areas.
“A major contributor to the generational cycle of poverty is the lack of employment opportunity, and this bipartisan legislation will help people relocate to areas with more opportunities and greater economic freedom,” said Congressman Duffy. “I’d like to thank Emanuel Cleaver for working with me to address poverty head on by reforming voucher assistance.”
For a copy of the bill, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Duffy Calls On Trump Administration To Continue Fighting For Wisconsin Dairy In NAFTA Renegotiations
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking the Trump administration to continue to fight for Wisconsin dairy farmers as trade talks between the United States, Canada, and Mexico progress.
Full letter below.
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,
We write to you concerning the ongoing negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to express our concerns with Canada’s Class 7 program. During the ongoing NAFTA modernization negotiations, it is critical that the Administration achieves its established goals of eliminating Canada’s trade- distorting Class 7 program and dairy tariff walls.
As you may know, America’s 40,000 dairy farmers and the nearly 3 million workers whose jobs are tied to dairy product manufacturing are counting on the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to deliver in these key areas, which would spur U.S. exports and therefore help contribute to favorable gains in the U.S. trade balance in the NAFTA markets. Now when the farmer and rancher community is experiencing deeply depressed farm income levels, improving export prospects is even more critical.
This Administration, with strong support from Congress, has rightfully condemned Canada’s actions on dairy trade over the past year. While Canada is one of our strongest allies and trading partners, its approach to dairy policy has been one that for far too long has used various policy tools to impact trade in ways that directly harm our dairy industry. The clearest and most recent example of that pattern of abuse has been Canada’s Class 7 pricing program. This latest move, which was put in place a little more than a year ago, has already led to a tripling of Canadian skim milk powder exports being essentially dumped onto world markets and eliminated U.S. exports of certain dairy products to Canada.
Dairy trade concerns have been a top agriculture trade priority since the very outset of the NAFTA 2.0 negotiation process and remain an essential element of a positive result. It is imperative that we do not lose this opportunity to tackle these problems. We appreciate the Administration’s strong advocacy on behalf of the domestic dairy industry to address the Class 7 pricing abuses during the NAFTA modernization negotiations. Given the urgency of this issue, we strongly encourage you to help put an end to Canada’s Class 7 pricing program and to extend to our dairy companies the same open market access opportunities to Canada that the vast majority of other industries in the U. S. already enjoy. These results are critical to securing a modernized NAFTA worthy of Congressional support that addresses today’s top trade concerns with our NAFTA partners and fills gaps in the existing agreement.
We greatly appreciate your ongoing support of our nation’s farmers and producers during ongoing NAFTA negotiations. Thank you for your consideration and attention to this important matter.
For a PDF of the letter, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Rural Relief Members Lay Out Priorities To Combat Opioid Crisis
Rural “constituents are often hit the hardest by opioid abuse and addiction”
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today with nine other members of the Rural Relief Initiative, sent a letter to House Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, urging him to consider specific policy solutions to the opioid crisis in rural America.
Read the letter below.
We write to support your efforts to address the alarming and outstanding needs of rural communities in the wake of a growing opioid crisis in the United States. We thank you and commend your tremendous work investigating strategies and best practices for combatting opioid abuse. As you continue to explore legislative solutions in the coming months, we ask that you please keep our support for the unique needs of rural communities in mind.
As you may know, the signatories to this letter represent members of the House Rural Relief Initiative, which was launched in October 2017 to shed light on and advocate for the struggling Americans in our nation’s rural communities. Our membership consists of leaders representing diverse rural constituencies across the United States, from Maine to California, and Texas to Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, that means our constituents are often hit the hardest by opioid abuse and addiction. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October 2017, the rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, USDA Economic Research Service, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and many others have all reported similar trends. One particularly alarming study found that as many as 74 percent of farmers have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis.
With this in mind, we believe it is of paramount importance to give special consideration to rural Americans. We understand that you have identified a range of priorities that will effect positive change in our communities, several of which could greatly increase resources for rural communities:
· Ensuring equitable distribution of resources to address the opioid epidemic in rural populations, including tribal communities (Tribal Addiction and Recovery Act, Improving Access to Remote Behavioral Health Treatment Act, Use of Telehealth to Treat Opioid Use Disorder, Federal Opioid Response Fairness Act);
· Requiring the Drug Enforcement Agency to modernize its controlled substance analogue policies to address synthetics loopholes (SITSA Act, SOFA Act, Synthetic Drug Awareness Act);
· Providing comprehensive addiction and recovery services to directly address rural workforce shortages (Limited repeal of the IMD exclusion for adult Medicaid Beneficiaries with substance abuse disorder);
· Improving ways to safely dispose of controlled substances, both inside and outside the healthcare setting (FDA packaging and disposal, Safe Disposal and Unused Medication Act);
· Combatting overprescribing in rural America through updated prescription guidelines and best practices for prescription drug monitoring programs (Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act; Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act); and
· Addressing family addiction to end generational drug use, which can lead to high rates of foster care admissions.
While no single policy will completely solve this crisis, the above proposals could have significant impact on reducing rural opioid abuse. Rural communities require more resources and different approaches than urban and suburban communities, and it’s time that our laws reflect this reality.
Thank you for your consideration, and for your strong commitment to combatting the opioid crisis. We look forward to working with you to guarantee that rural communities receive the attention and resources they need during these difficult times.
For a PDF of the letter with signatures from nine other members of the Rural Relief Initiative, click HERE.
To learn more about the Rural Relief Initiative, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday April 24, 2018
Duffy Asks President Trump To Stand Up To France, Germany, Others On Pharmaceutical Free Riding
Foreign trading partners put unfair burden on American patients & economy
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today sent a letter to President Trump requesting that his Administration addresses “free riding” by our trading partners on American innovative pharmaceuticals. The letter was also signed by 26 other members of Congress.
Read the letter below.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to express my strong concerns in regard to the “free riding” of our trading partners on U.S. innovative pharmaceuticals. Among these issues include foreign government price controls, market access barriers, and intellectual property (IP) theft. Developed countries like Germany, France, Japan, and Australia consistently undermine American companies through longstanding, impermissible practices that place an unfair burden on U.S. patients, cost our economy jobs, and rob us of new treatments and cures.
“Free riding” creates a difficult choice for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Innovative companies can either accept a very low reimbursement rate for cutting-edge medicines (which then ripples through the rest of the global pricing system, as developing nations peg their own reimbursements to Europe, Japan, Korea or Australia), or face the very real threat of a compulsory license. Once the drug has lost its patent, generic companies move into these countries and undercut in price the original innovative drug.
Perhaps the most effective way to prevent free riding is through trade enforcement and strong trade disciplines in our new free trade agreements (FTAs). You have already shown tremendous leadership on trade, demonstrating through the renegotiated U.S. Korea FTA (KORUS) that strong trade policy can create a level playing field for U.S. innovators. By negotiating with Korean officials to provide full access to the government reimbursement system previously reserved for Korean companies, U.S. innovators can now compete fairly in the Korean market, enabling them to invest more in R&D and jobs here in the U.S.
Over the past few months, a number of U.S. companies have met with Commerce Secretary Ross, USTR Lighthizer, and other members of your senior staff to discuss similar solutions to the free-riding issue. Foreign systems are frequently government-controlled, over-regulated, and contrary to international conventions like the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) GATT and TRIPS Agreements, as well as numerous bilateral obligations. This requires a strong U.S. government response.
Ongoing trade talks with Canada and Mexico related to NAFTA and use of trade tools like Special 301 and Section 301 can hold the worst actors accountable (Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is one of the worst government price control bodies among developed economies). These opportunities can serve as a vehicle for aggressive Administrative action to eliminate practices that undervalue U.S. innovation.
Most notably, Canada continues to propose and implement pricing and reimbursement policies that do not value innovation, leaving the U.S. to shoulder a disproportionate burden of global R&D. Canada is currently proposing to remove the U.S. and Switzerland from the basket of comparator countries for price determinations using international reference pricing, while also considering disclosure of confidential rebates that do not justify the intended policy objective. The U.S. government should begin to address the free-riding issue in Canada via a two-pronged approach, and then branch out to the EU and other countries:
As you’ve noted in the past, the free-riding issue is an ongoing drain on the U.S. innovation economy, threatening thousands of high-paying jobs across the country. I extend my congratulations to you and Ambassador Lighthizer on your handling of the KORUS renegotiations, and stand ready to support your efforts to negotiate fair trade agreements for the United States. More wins like KORUS can help us bring an end to this vexing issue.
For a PDF of the letter with signatures from over two-dozen GOP Members of Congress, click HERE.
GUIDE Compliance Act introduced by Wisconsin Republican & Colorado Democrat
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, and Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter today introduced the Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance (GUIDE) Compliance Act. The GUIDE Compliance Act seeks to regularize the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s process of providing rules and guidance to better protect consumers.
“The American people deserve a government that The CFPB has historically ignored requests for guidance and clarification from American businesses, consumers, and Congress – especially in relation to the Know Before You Owe rule,” said Congressman Duffy. “That’s why I’m proud to sponsor bipartisan legislation to bring predictability and transparency to the CFPB’s rule-making process. The CFPB should focus on its mission to actually protect consumers rather than play ‘gotcha’ with ambiguous and surprising guidance for mortgage lenders.”
Specifically, the GUIDE Act:
1 Mandates that the Director issue “guidance” that is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purpose of the laws it is responsible for including facilitating compliance;
2 Defines “guidance” to include a range of written issuances from interpretative and legislative rules, to bulletins and frequently asked questions;
3 Requires the Bureau to publish in the Federal Register within one year of enactment the definitions, criteria, timelines and process for issuing each type of guidance the Bureau shall provide, with a final rule required within 18 months of enactment;
4 Prohibits liability for reliance in good faith on guidance from the Bureau or any predecessor agency that was in effect at the time of such act or omission;
5 Requires the Bureau to establish a process and timeframes for requests for guidance, including time limits to provide answers in response to requests for guidance;
6 Requires the Bureau to create a process for amending or revoking guidance, including a process for public notice and comment;
Requires the Bureau to develop guidelines for determining the size of any civil money penalties and publish these guidelines in the Federal Register within 18 months of enactment.
Hope your Monday is going well. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to get you caught up on some events in Wisconsin as well as the latest in Washington.
Academy Day Is This Saturday!
Hey, Wisconsin high school students: are you interested in a great education while serving your country? On Saturday, April 21st, I will be hosting Academy Day at Wausau West High School from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. There will be representatives from all five military branches representing their respective academies. Admission is free, and parents and teachers are welcome to attend.
Planning A Trip?
With Spring and Summer on the way (well, you wouldn't know it with all this snow!), it's getting close to that time to organize your travel plans. If you’re visiting our Nation's Capital, please contact my Washington DC office to schedule a tour of the US Capitol! Tour requests can be handled through my website HERE. As always, call 202-225-3365 if you have any questions regarding your tour.
Tax Reform Is Working
We have seen across America that to millions of workers, Tax Reform means...
✔️ Financial Stability.
I recently chatted with Fox News' Sandra Smith about how Tax Reform is helping Americans get better jobs with better pay. Click HERE or the image below to watch part of the interview!
Attention Wisconsin vets! Sean Lybert, our Hudson office's Veterans Outreach Specialist, is available Monday, April 23rd at Cafe Next Door. Stop on by and chat! And please let your fellow Veterans know about this event by sharing the photo on Facebook HERE or by clicking the photo below.
Until next week!
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today released a following statement in support of adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution:
“Under President Obama, our national debt became an economic and national security crisis. Reforms are needed now to fix this broken-down budget process so that future generations of Americans aren’t saddled with this incredible federal debt. We also must ensure that America’s future is not held hostage by Senate Democrats each time they demand a spending spree with taxpayer dollars. I fully support a Balanced Budget Amendment so that we address the federal deficit and spare our children and grandchildren an unpayable national debt.”
Today’s vote failed the 2/3 threshold needed for a Constitutional Amendment, 233-184.
1208 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Sean Duffy was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. His great, great grandfather was one of the state’s early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of Hayward’s founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years.
Congressman Duffy has never strayed far from his roots, becoming a nationally recognized professional lumberjack athlete. He is a two-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb, three-time champion in the 60-foot and an accomplished log-roller. Sean has been a color commentator for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, as well as a Badger State Games Honorary Athlete and takes pride in bringing national attention to a sport with vital roots in Wisconsin’s proud history.
The tenth of eleven siblings, Congressman Duffy worked his way through law school by performing in lumberjack shows and exhibitions across the state of Wisconsin and around the country. After graduating from law school he practiced law for two years in Hayward before becoming a special prosecutor in Ashland, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter, he became the acting assistant D.A, and later the District Attorney of Ashland County. He is most proud of his dedication to prosecuting child sex crimes. Working together with law enforcement, Congressman Duffy helped make Ashland County one of the first counties in the state to investigate and prosecute child Internet sex crimes.
Congressman Duffy met his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, an Arizona native, through the MTV show, “The Real World,” Together, they are the proud parents of six children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, and MariaVictoria.
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