FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Ben Miller (Sensenbrenner) 202-225-5101
Lorenz Isidro (Massie) 202-225-3465
Peter Whippy (Lofgren) 202-225-3072
Sensenbrenner, Massie & Lofgren Introduce Secure Data Act
(WASHINGTON) – A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced H.R. 5800, the Secure Data Act of 2014, to protect Americans’ privacy and data security by prohibiting surveillance agencies from requiring or compelling surveillance “backdoors” in products and services. A similar amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act this year passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 293-123 vote, but it was not included in the Continuing Resolution (CR)/omnibus spending legislation.
U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R- Wis.), Thomas Massie (R- Ky.), and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), sponsors of the Secure Data Act of 2014, issued the following statement:
“Thus far, Congress has failed to rein in the Administration’s surveillance authorities and protect Americans’ civil liberties. Nevertheless, the Massie-Sensenbrenner-Lofgren amendment established an important record in the full House of Representatives—an overwhelming majority will no longer tolerate the status quo. Unwarranted and backdoor surveillance is untenable, and as Congress turns to address a multitude of expiring surveillance programs in the 114th Congress, the House will not allow unwarranted surveillance without meaningful reform. The Secure Data Act defends Americans’ constitutional rights and is an important next step in closing backdoor surveillance and rebuilding public trust in our intelligence agencies.”
Original cosponsors of the Secure Data Act of 2014 include Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rush Holt (D- N.J.), Jerrold Nadler (D- N.Y.), Beto O’Rourke (D- Texas), Ted Poe (R- Texas).Read More
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Massie voted against the President's plan to arm and train Syrian rebels. The amendment passed the House, 273-156. “It is immoral to use the threat of a government shutdown to pressure Members to vote for involvement in war, much less a civil war on the other side of the globe,” said Rep. Massie. “Because the Syrian resolution is contained within the Continuing Resolution, Representatives and Senators must tacitly approve the President's aggressive intervention in order to vote to fund all government programs.” Rep. Massie added, “Also, it is disingenuous for the Administration to tell the American public that we are arming Syrian rebels to fight ISIS when the Administration's stated objective is to topple the secular government of Syria, a government which has not committed aggression against the United States.” Congressman Massie also questioned the effectiveness of supporting the rebels. “If the goal of arming and training so-called moderate Syrian rebels is to eliminate ISIS, the plan will not work,” said Massie. “Military experts know this, and the President acknowledged as much five weeks ago when he stated that the idea that arming rebels would have made a difference has ‘always been a fantasy.’” The amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels was attached to the Continuing Resolution to fund the government (H.J. Res 124), which passed 319-108. Rep. Massie’s floor speech in opposition to the amendment can be viewed here. Read More
House to debate amendment to curb government access to private data
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new bipartisan effort to close intelligence agency backdoors and curb government access to private electronic data gained momentum today as the House prepares to debate an amendment sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The amendment, offered to the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 4870), would cut off funding to two government “backdoors” that currently allow intelligence agencies access to Americans private data and correspondence.
“There’s no question Americans have become increasingly alarmed with the breadth of unwarranted government surveillance programs used to store and search their private data,” said Sensenbrenner, Lofgren, and Massie. “By adopting this amendment, Congress can take a sure step toward shutting the back door on mass surveillance. This amendment will reinstate an important provision that was stripped from the original USA FREEDOM Act to further protect the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Congress has an ongoing obligation to conduct oversight of the intelligence community and its surveillance authorities.”
One “backdoor” would be shut by prohibiting the search of government databases for information pertaining to US citizens, without a warrant. The second door to be shut prohibits the NSA and CIA from requiring “backdoors” into products.
The amendment is supported by a broad coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups as well as tech companies, including, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Liberty Coalition, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Google, FreedomWorks, Campaign for Liberty, Demand Progress, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
A full list of cosponsors of the amendment is as follows: Reps. Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Lofgren (D-Calif.), Massie (R-Ky.), Conyers (D-Mich.), Poe (R-Texas), Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Jordan (R-Ohio), O'Rourke (D-Texas), Amash (R-Mich.), Holt (D-N.J.), Nadler (D-N.Y.), Petri (R-Wis.), DelBene (D- Wash.), Farenthold (R-Texas), Butterfield (N. Car.) and Sanford (S. Car.).Read More
CRESCENT SPRINGS – Rep. Massie will host a town hall meeting in Alexandria on Thursday, May 15. The Town Halls are part of the Congressman’s tour across Kentucky’s 4th District in an effort to meet constituents and listen to their concerns. The event is free and open to the public.
THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
Event: Alexandria Town Hall
Event Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Calvin A. Perry Community Center
8236 W. Main Street
Alexandria, KY 41001
Representative Massie remains committed to open, accessible, and responsive service, and encourages all constituents to join him at the Town Halls.
*Constituents with questions should contact Massie’s Northern Kentucky office at (859) 426-0080.
*Please direct all press inquiries to Lorenz.Isidro@mail.house.govRead More
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Massie (R–KY), Chellie Pingree (D–ME) and a bipartisan coalition of 18 other lawmakers have introduced legislation to improve consumer food choices and to protect local farmers from federal interference. The two bills – the “Milk Freedom of Act of 2014” and the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” – are the first in a series of “food freedom” bills that Rep. Massie plans to introduce this year.
“As a producer of grass-fed beef, I am familiar with some of the difficulties small farmers face when marketing fresh food directly to consumers. Our bills would make it easier for families to buy wholesome milk directly from farmers by reversing the criminalization of dairy farmers who offer raw milk,” said Rep. Massie. “The federal government should not punish farmers for providing customers the foods they want, and states should be free to set their own laws regulating food safety.”
"Many consumers want to buy fresh, unpasteurized milk and regulations shouldn't get between them and the farmer who wants to sell it,” said Representative Pingree. “Given how many food scares there have been involving large-scale producers, it just doesn't make sense to spend money cracking down on small, local farmers who are producing natural, raw milk and cheese. The enforcement of raw milk regulations has been overzealous and needs to be reined in."
"As consumer, advocate, and mother, I have spent over a decade navigating a complex legal and regulatory maze to access raw milk and other fresh, local foods,” said Sarah Donovan of the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation. “These bills are an important step toward removing federal barriers between farmers and families." "Raw milk is the only food banned in interstate commerce," said Pete Kennedy, President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. "Congratulations to Representative Massie for starting the process of repealing a regulation that thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens violate every week in this country."
Raw milk is fresh milk that has not been pasteurized, and may contain beneficial nutrients that have not been eliminated by the pasteurization process. Although Congress has never passed legislation banning raw milk, the federal Food and Drug Administration has used their regulatory authority to prosecute farmers for selling raw milk.
The “Milk Freedom Act of 2014” (HR 4307) would provide relief to local farmers, small producers, and others who have been harassed, fined, and in some cases even prosecuted for the “crime” of distributing unpasteurized milk. This bill would prohibit the federal government from interfering with the interstate traffic of raw milk products.
Likewise, the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014” (HR 4308) would prevent the federal government from interfering with trade of unpasteurized, natural milk or milk products between states where distribution or sale of such products is already legal.
No provision of either bill would preempt or otherwise interfere with any state law.
Massie concluded, “Today, many people are paying more attention to the food they eat, what it contains, and how it is processed. Raw milk, which has been with us for thousands of years, is making a comeback among these discerning consumers. Personal choices as basic as ‘what we feed our families’ should not be limited by the federal government.”
Original co-sponsors of the Milk Freedom Act include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Justin Amash (R-MI). Original co-sponsors of the Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014 include Reps Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC) , Paul Broun (R-GA), Andy Harris (R-MD), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Raul Labrador (R-ID).
CRESCENT SPRINGS, KY – U.S Representative Thomas Massie (KY-4) is pleased to invite all high school students from Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District to participate in the 2014 Congressional Art Competition.
Since 1982, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sponsored the annual Artistic Discovery Contest, a nationwide high school arts competition, to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation.
The winning piece of art from each Congressional District is displayed in a yearlong exhibit within a U.S. Capitol corridor. Winners will also receive two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C. for the unveiling of their work.
Interested artists can submit their artwork to Congressman Massie’s Crescent Springs office through April 14, 2014. The artwork will be displayed at the Boone County Public Library (main branch) and judged by members of the local art community.
Further information about the program, including guidelines and student release forms, can be found on Congressman Massie’s website: http://massie.house.gov/serving-you/art-competition
Interested applicants can also direct any questions to Carrie Porter at (859) 426-0080.
Residents of the 4th District are welcome to contact Congressman Massie's offices by phone or via massie.house.gov, where they can sign up for e-mail updates.Read More
For Immediate Release
Date: January 28, 2014
Farm Bill Conference Report Includes Language to Allow Legal Study, Pilot Programs of Hemp
Washington, DC – In June 2013, Representatives Jared Polis (CO-02), Thomas Massie (KY-04) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) included an amendment to the Farm Bill, H.R. 1947, that would allow colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in states where it is already legal to do so.
This amendment was included in the version of the Farm Bill which passed the House in July and is included in the final bill after conference with the Senate, which the House will be voting on tomorrow. Not only is the research amendment included, but the bill contains additional expanded language allowing for “agricultural pilot programs” to study the growth and marketing of industrial hemp in states where hemp is legal. Only institutions of higher education and State Departments of Agricultures would be allowed to grow industrial hemp.
“I am pleased that this bipartisan, common sense amendment that I offered with Representatives Blumenauer and Massie was included in the final FARM bill,” said Polis. “For far too long, states that have legalized the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp have been unable to conduct academic research on this important and historic crop. This is a step in the right direction towards utilizing this crop in a way that improves our economy and creates jobs.”
"This is an important victory for farmers, manufacturers, and consumers in Kentucky and across the country,” said Massie. “Our amendment paves the way for production of industrial hemp by first allowing America's academic and research institutions to demonstrate that hemp and the products derived from hemp present a great economic opportunity for our country.”
“The inclusion of our industrial hemp amendment in the farm bill reflects widespread support for cultivating industrial hemp and proves Congress can work together in a bipartisan fashion to help the American economy at a time when creating jobs is a national priority," Massie continued. “I am further encouraged to continue working with Congressmen Blumenauer, Polis, and Schrader to pass HR 525, our standalone industrial hemp bill that will eventually permit all farmers to cultivate hemp in states like Kentucky that allow it."
“The inclusion of our industrial hemp amendment and expanded language is a very promising and important step in the right direction,” said Blumenauer. “From Oregon to Colorado to Kentucky, voters across the country have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be regulated as an agricultural commodity, not a drug. The inclusion of this amendment sends a symbol that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way.”
Representative Massie Introduces Bill to Eliminate Tax on Social Security Benefits
“Taxing these benefits is an accounting sleight of hand that redistributes portions of the Social Security trust fund to other areas of government”
WASHINGTON – Representative Massie introduced HR 3894, The Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act to eliminate income taxes on Social Security benefits. The bill would boost the retirement income of millions of older Americans.
Original co-sponsors include Congressman Bridenstine (R-OK) and Congressman DeSantis (R-FL).
“Seniors have already paid tax on their Social Security contributions, so taxing Social Security is double-taxing by the Federal Government,” said Massie. “Taxing Social Security reduces benefits to seniors.”
Rep. DeSantis (R-FL) said, "Congressman Massie's bill blows the whistle on the federal government for double taxing the Social Security benefits of senior citizens. Individuals already pay taxes to support Social Security, so there is no reason why these earned benefits should be taxed on the back end."
The purpose of Social Security is to provide people with financial support during retirement, not to be another source of tax revenue for the Federal Government. Under this legislation, Social Security benefits would neither be taxable nor reportable on individual tax returns, thus restoring the integrity of the program.
“Taxing these benefits is an accounting sleight of hand that redistributes portions of the Social Security trust fund to other areas of government,” Massie concluded.Read More
1119 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Representative Thomas Massie entered Congress in November 2012 after serving as Lewis County Judge Executive. He represents Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District which stretches across Northern Kentucky and 280 miles of the Ohio River.
U.S. Representative Massie attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. During school, he invented a technology that enabled people to interact with computers using their sense of touch, and leveraged that technology to found SensAble Technologies, Inc., which raised over $32 million of venture capital, created 70 jobs, and obtained 24 patents. The hardware and software he developed is now used to design automobiles, jewelry, shoes, dental prosthetics, and even reconstructive implants for wounded soldiers.
In Congress, Thomas serves on three committees: the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure has jurisdiction over roads, bridges, mass transit, railroads, aviation, maritime and waterborne transit. Thomas’s selection to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee puts him in a position to hold the federal government accountable to taxpayers. Further, Rep. Massie’s background from MIT and the high-tech business world makes him uniquely qualified to serve his state and country on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Thomas lives on a cattle farm in Kentucky with his wife and high school sweetheart, Rhonda, and their four children.
He’s honored to be able to serve the citizens of Kentucky’s 4th District.
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