Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Treasury clamps down on foreign tax deals

2014/09/23

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration cracked down yesterday on tax inversions, aiming to curb a spate of American companies shifting overseas in an attempt to shirk paying U.S. taxes.

New regulations from the Treasury Department will make inversions less lucrative by barring creative techniques that companies use to lower their tax bills. Additionally, the U.S. will make it harder for companies to move overseas in the first place by tightening the ownership requirements they must meet.

“This action will significantly diminish the ability of inverted companies to escape U.S. taxation,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said.

He added that for some companies considering inversions, the new measures would mean inverting would “no longer make economic sense.”

In an inversion, a U.S. business merges with or is acquired by a foreign company in a country with a lower tax rate. President Barack Obama has denounced inversions as unpatriotic and has urged Congress to stop them.

Obama applauded the Treasury for taking steps to reverse the trend of companies’ seeking to “ exploit this loophole” to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. Yet he said he was still calling on Congress to pursue broader tax reform that would reduce the corporate tax rate, close loopholes and make the tax code simpler.

Yesterday’s announcement puts companies on notice that Treasury will be drafting regulations to clamp down, but the new measures will take effect immediately even while those regulations are pending. That means any transactions from today onward will be subject to the tougher restrictions.

Treasury called the new rules a “targeted action” aimed at ensuring that only genuine cross-border mergers that strengthen the economy are encouraged by the U.S. tax system.

Democrats generally supported the action as the best the administration could do without action from Congress, while Republicans faulted the administration for not making a greater effort to work with Congress to enact comprehensive corporate tax reform.

Republicans pointed out that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and argued that Obama should be pursuing efforts to simplify the tax code, not punishing companies.

“If the administration is really serious about solving the problem of corporate tax inversion, President Obama should work with Congress to fix our broken corporate tax code,” said Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington. “Unlike the Band-Aid approach announced today, comprehensive tax reform would prevent future American businesses and jobs from leaving our country due to a friendlier business environment.”

About 50 U.S. companies have carried out inversions in the past decade, and more are considering it, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said.

The recent wave of inversions has been dominated by health-care companies, including the drugmaker AbbVie, which has announced plans to merge with a drug company incorporated in Britain.

The timing of yesterday’s announcement also highlights the appeal Democrats think the issue has to voters. By having Treasury announce new steps now, the White House is practically daring Republicans to voice their opposition.
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Stivers Statement on Obama Administration's Announcement Regarding Tax Inversions

2014/09/23

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) released the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s announcement last night that it will use regulatory authority to crack down on tax inversions:

“If the Administration is really serious about solving the problem of corporate tax inversion, President Obama should work with Congress to fix our broken corporate tax code.  Unlike this band-aid approach, comprehensive tax reform would prevent future American businesses and jobs from leaving our country due to a friendlier business environment.”

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Stivers Statement on Military Action in Syria

2014/09/23

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) released the following statement in response to last night’s military action in Syria:

“I support President Obama’s course of action in Syria and Iraq.  These Muslim extremist groups are a real threat to America and we must continue to take action with our coalition partners and work towards building an even larger coalition moving forward, including ensuring partners like Saudi Arabia pay for much of the costs of this effort. The strategy could help ensure that these battles are fought in the Middle East and not here at home.”

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Ohio Lawmaker Agrees With President Obama's Actions on ISIS

2014/09/23

WASHINGTON, DC (WSPD) -- President  Barack Obama says the U.S. is acting aggressively to ensure that ISIS does not nail down a safe haven in Syria.

U.S.-led airstrikes went after ISIS and al-Qaeda targets inside Syria overnight. Airstrikes against ISIS targets have been going on in neighboring Iraq for weeks. In a statement at the White House, the President vowed to continue efforts to build a broad coalition to combat ISIS.

"I support the President's course of action in Syria and Iraq," said Congressman Steve Stivers, an Ohio Republican. "I believe ISIS is a real threat to America."

He wants to see Obama broaden the coalition and urge countries like Saudi Arabia to help pay for the airstrikes against ISIS.

"I do think that we're on the right course and I think we have to look out for the American national interests so that these battles are fought over there and not over here," he said.
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Lawmakers float generic drug legislation

2014/09/22

Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) have submitted a bill that would require branded drugmakers to share product samples of drugs undergoing REMS treatments with generic drug manufacturers. FDA Law Blog explains that generic drug manufacturers have to be able to compare their version of a branded drug to the branded pharmaceutical to document equivalency when applying to the FDA for approval. However, drugs that are part of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program, which means the FDA has asked the branded drug manufacturer to test an approved drug after approval, are not so readily available.

The Wall Street Journal's Pharmalot blog explains that these REMS drugs are harder to get samples of because they have limited distribution. Critics, such as the generic drug industry, allege that branded drug makers are using REMS to prevent them from having a comparator drug, which keeps them from being able to create generics.

Stivers and Welch's bill would give generics makers a workaround: they would apply for samples through the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill says branded drugmakers could be sued for damages if the HHS approves a sample request and the branded drug manufacturer does not comply.
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Bill to increase competition for generic drugs introduced in USA

2014/09/19

US Representatives Steve Stivers (Republican, Ohio) Peter Welch (Democrat, Vermont) on Thursday joined forces to introduce the Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act to increase consumer access to generic drugs, boost market competition and ultimately save consumers money.

“We cannot afford to promote practices that hinder consumers’ abilities to obtain generic alternatives to expensive brand medicines,” said Rep Stivers, adding: “Our bill closes federal loopholes to ensure consumers have increased access to less costly generic drugs by increasing market competition and eliminating bureaucratic red tape. This problem must be addressed to save the government and consumers billions of dollars while increasing pharmaceutical options for patients.”

Companies “abusing FDA safety programs”

Currently, there are companies that abuse Food and Drug Administration drug safety programs by withholding access to drug samples for generic manufacturers, resulting in anticompetitive practices and increased pharmaceutical costs.

“Too many Americans, particularly seniors, cannot afford their prescription drugs. This legislation will ensure that manufacturers of generic medicines can bring more affordable medicines to the market as quickly as possible,” said Rep Welch.

According to a study conducted by Matrix Global Advisors, companies using FDA safety programs as a smokescreen for these practices are costing American consumers $5.4 billion annually, including a lost savings of $1.8 billion for the federal government, the Reps noted in a press release announcing the proposed legislation.

Action applauded by GPhA

“This important bill…. promises to prevent unnecessary delays for patients waiting for generic choices and save billions for taxpayers, patients, and the federal government,” said Ralph Neas, president and chief executive of the US Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). “These programs should be established for what Congress intended: keeping patients safe. Instead, some companies have adopted business strategies that deter competition under the guise of safety. This bill would put an end to that regrettable practice,” said Mr Neas.

The number of medicines with more restrictive safety designations has increased over the past five years, with more than 50% of REMS programs in 2014 including stricter “Elements to Assure Safe Use” (ETASU) requirements, versus 2009, when fewer than 20% of products featured ETASUs. This is the area of REMS most often abused by brand companies, so the increased prevalence creates a growing opportunity for these practices, says the GPhA. In addition, it has been reported that some brand companies have self-created and self-imposed restricted distribution programs in the absence of any formal FDA mandate, solely as a tool to impede distribution, the trade group added.
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Poor need vaccines to stop outbreaks

2014/09/19

With the fall/winter season headed our way, we’ll be starting the ritual of getting flu vaccines at our physicians’ offices and local pharmacies. Viruses have recently been in the spotlight with the Ebola virus in west Africa. But this virus issue hit home with the measles and mumps outbreaks right here in Columbus.

Fortunately, we were able to control the spread with a public-health campaign. However, this is an all-too familiar situation for low-income groups around the world, who deal with outbreaks of diseases that are completely preventable, but do not have access to these lifesaving vaccines. Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations started in 2000 with the goal of joining the public and private sector to increase equal access to vaccines to children in the poorest countries. Since 2000, GAVI has helped countries immunize 440 million children.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, recognized the need for providing life-saving vaccines to children around the world. On Sept. 11, he signed onto House Resolution 688, which promotes the United States’ support of the alliance.

This is a step in the right direction to preventing the spread of preventable diseases in the U.S. and around the world.
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House approves funding to arm Syrian rebels against Islamic State

2014/09/18

WASHINGTON — Supporting a request from President Barack Obama, the U.S. House approved spending $500 million to help train and arm what are described as moderate Syrian rebels opposed to Islamic State militants and the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.

With the backing of House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House easily approved a key amendment to a spending bill by a vote of 273-156 yesterday.

The $500 million was tucked into a larger bill — also approved last night by the House — that would keep the federal government open until Dec. 11 while financing operations of the U.S. Export-Import Bank through June. The Senate is expected to approve a similar measure to aid the Syrian rebels today.

Boehner, who as speaker normally does not cast a vote, voted in favor of the amendment — a sign that he regards the measure as crucial. He said in a statement that “this measure represents an important, initial step forward in taking on” the Islamic State which Boehner said represents “a direct threat to the safety and security of the United States.”

Among area lawmakers, Republicans Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township, Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington, Mike Turner of Dayton, Bill Johnson of Marietta, Bob Gibbs of Lakeville and Democrat Joyce Beatty of Jefferson Township supported arming the rebels, while Republican Jim Jordan of Urbana voted against it.

Arming moderate Syrian rebels has been one part of Obama’s new strategy to deliver punishing blows against the thousands of militants who make up the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL. Those militants have captured large tracts of Syria and Iraq, threatening to topple the pro-Western government in Baghdad.

It also allows the U.S. to side with Syrian rebels who want to overthrow Assad and bring an end to a brutal civil war in Syria that has killed more than 190,000 people, according to the United Nations.

“The vote today is not a broad authorization of military force, but a narrowly defined mission of training and equipping anti-ISIS forces in Syria,” Tiberi said

“The president has yet to provide the necessary leadership and strategy on how we can join others in destroying ISIS,” he said. “Nor has he asked for any authorization to carry out such a strategy. That debate will continue.”

The amendment attracted support from a broad array of lawmakers from both parties. In an interview on CNN, Turner said ISIS is “an absolute direct threat” to the United States.

In a floor speech, Pelosi said the brutality exhibited by ISIS — including the video-taped beheading of two American journalists and a British worker — “is outside the circle of civilized human behavior.”

She said the vote “is not pleasant. It’s not easy. It’s hard. But it really is necessary for the House to approve this.”

Jordan said of his vote: “I agree with the majority of Americans that ISIS is a real threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests both here at home and abroad. ... “Ultimately, we cannot control what happens to the people we would train or the weapons we would provide them, which could easily find their way to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups to be used against our interests in the region.”

In a statement after the vote, Obama said the House “took an important step forward as our nation unites to confront the threat posed” by the Islamic State, showing bipartisan support for a critical component of his strategy against the extremists.

In all, 85 Democrats and 71 Republicans voted to deny Obama the authority he sought. The measure passed on the strength of 159 votes from Republicans and 114 from Democrats.

GOP lawmakers took solace in the short-term nature of the legislation. It grants Obama authority only until Dec. 11, giving Congress plenty of time to return to the issue in a postelection session set to begin in mid-November.

Testifying before a Senate committee yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the forces seeking to create an Islamic state “must be defeated. Period. End of story.”

There was little, if any, dissent on that, but debate aplenty about the best way to accomplish it.

The legislation also includes $88 million to combat the outbreak of Ebola in western Africa.

The spending bill passed on a vote of 319-108.
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Stivers, Welch Introduce Bill to Increase Access, Drive Down Costs and Increase Competition for Generic Pharmaceuticals

2014/09/18

 

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to introduce the Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act to increase consumer access to generic drugs, boost market competition and ultimately save consumers money.

“We cannot afford to promote practices that hinder consumers’ abilities to obtain generic alternatives to expensive brand medicines,” said Stivers.  “Our bill closes federal loopholes to ensure consumers have increased access to less costly generic drugs by increasing market competition and eliminating bureaucratic red tape.  This problem must be addressed to save the government and consumers billions of dollars while increasing pharmaceutical options for patients.”

Currently, there are companies that abuse Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug safety programs by withholding access to drug samples for generic manufacturers, resulting in anticompetitive practices and increased pharmaceutical costs.

“Too many Americans, particularly seniors, cannot afford their prescription drugs,” said Welch. “This legislation will ensure that manufacturers of generic medicines can bring more affordable medicines to the market as quickly as possible.”  

According to a study conducted by Matrix Global Advisors, companies using FDA safety programs as a smokescreen for these practices are costing American consumers $5.4 billion annually, including a lost savings of $1.8 billion for the federal government.

To read the Matrix Global Advisors report, please click here.

To read the Fair Access for Safe and Timely (FAST) Generics Act, please click here.

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GPhA Supports Restricted Access Bill

2014/09/18

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has expressed its support of a bill introduced by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) that calls for reforms to FDA risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) programs. According to GPhA, the bill would prohibit companies from using restricted access practices to avoid generic competition. The bill would establish legal requirements and processes for the acquisition of product samples by generic and biosimilar developers.

“This important bill introduced today by Congressmen Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) promises to prevent unnecessary delays for patients waiting for generic choices and save billions for taxpayers, patients, and the federal government,” said Ralph G. Neas, president and CEO of GPhA, in a press release. “These programs should be established for what Congress intended: keeping patients safe. Instead, some companies have adopted business strategies that deter competition under the guise of safety. This bill would put an end to that regrettable practice,” said Neas.
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Contact Information

1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2015
Fax 202-225-3529
stivers.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Raised in Ripley, Ohio, Steve Stivers learned from his mother and father the importance of family, hard work and public service, which have been the values he has carried with him through his life, whether as a student at The Ohio State University, a soldier serving overseas, as a State Senator, or as a Member of Congress.

Stivers is currently serving his second term as a Member of Congress and represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which is made up of 12 counties including: all of Athens, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway, and Vinton counties, and parts of: Fayette, Franklin, and Ross counties.

Stivers has been tapped to serve on the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities industries. Members who serve on the committee also work on housing and consumer protection legislation and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Throughout his career, Steve Stivers has led the way supporting programs and initiatives to encourage job creation, promote economic development, and put our country’s fiscal house in order. As he wrapped up a successful first term in office, two of Stivers veterans bills, the HIRE at Home Act and TRICARE for Kids, were rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by the President.

Prior to running for Congress, Stivers served in the Ohio Senate and before that worked in the private sector for the Ohio Company and Bank One, where he focused on promoting economic development and encouraging job creation.

A career soldier, Stivers has served 28 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Colonel. He served the United States overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely to the United States. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.

Stivers received both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA from The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus with his wife, Karen, and children, Sarah and Sam.


Serving With

Steve Chabot

OHIO's 1st DISTRICT

Brad Wenstrup

OHIO's 2nd DISTRICT

Jim Jordan

OHIO's 4th DISTRICT

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Bob Gibbs

OHIO's 7th DISTRICT

John Boehner

OHIO's 8th DISTRICT

Michael Turner

OHIO's 10th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

David Joyce

OHIO's 14th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

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