Tim Walberg

Tim Walberg


Thomson Reuters | IRS clarifies its position on civil forfeitures in uncharged structuring cases


Following a slew of recent negative press involving IRS’s use of civil forfeiture laws, IRS’s Chief of Criminal Investigation (CI) has issued a statement stating that the agency would no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds associated solely with legal source “structuring” cases unless there are exceptional circumstances that warrant such seizures or forfeitures. This article provides background on the banking laws implicated in these cases and on the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture program, the facts of a recent high-profile case that brought this issue into the public eye, and proposed legislation to combat perceived civil forfeiture abuses.

Background. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), financial institutions generally must report each deposit, withdrawal, exchange of currency or other payment or transfer which involves a transaction in currency of more than $10,000. Multiple currency transactions must be treated as a single transaction if the financial institution has knowledge that the transactions are by or on behalf of any one person and result in either cash in or cash out totalling more than $10,000 during any one business day. (31 CFR §103.22)

A taxpayer may not “structure,” or assist in structuring, his deposits (e.g., by keeping a series of deposits under the $10,000 threshold) in order to avoid BSA requirements. (31 USC 5324(a)(3)) A fine of not more than $250,000, or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, may be imposed on a person who willfully violates this anti-structuring provision. (31 USC 5322(a))

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website, the DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture Program “encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes. The primary mission of the Program is to employ asset forfeiture powers in a manner that enhances public safety and security. This is accomplished by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our society. Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific individuals.”

Recent scandal. A recent New York Times article (“Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required” (Oct. 25, 2014), by Shaila Dewan) profiled Carole Hinder, a restaurant owner who, for 38 years, deposited the earnings from her cash-only establishment at a local bank. According to the article, last year, without charging Hinder with any crime, IRS seized her checking account because of the less-than-$10,000 pattern in deposits—which, by itself, was apparently a sufficient basis to obtain a seizure warrant despite the facts that valid business reasons may exist for keeping deposit levels under $10,000 and that doing so isn’t illegal absent an intent to evade the BSA reporting requirements. (The article indicates that IRS is one of several agencies that investigates cases then refers them to the DOJ.)

According to a press release by the Institute for Justice (IJ), Hinder and the IJ are bringing a lawsuit challenging the forfeiture. ( http://www.ij.org/iowa-forfeiture-release-10-27-2014 ) Larry Salzman, an IJ attorney, called civil forfeiture “one of the most serious assaults on property rights in America today.” The IJ says that unlike criminal forfeiture (which generally follows a criminal conviction), with civil forfeiture, a property owner can have his or her property permanently taken without ever being convicted of or even charged with a crime. The IJ also alleges that IRS made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005—a more-than-550% increase.

RIA observation:Weekly Alert readers might remember the Institute for Justice from their representation of the plaintiffs in the Loving case (Loving, et al, v. IRS, et al, 113 AFTR 2d 2014-867113 AFTR 2d 2014-867), which successfully challenged IRS’s authority to regulate tax return preparers who prepare and file tax returns for compensation.

IRS’s response. Richard Weber, chief of IRS-CI, provided the following statement to the New York Times: “After a thorough review of our structuring cases over the last year and in order to provide consistency… I.R.S.-C.I. will no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds associated solely with “legal source” structuring cases unless there are exceptional circumstances justifying the seizure and forfeiture and the case has been approved at the director of field operations (D.F.O.) level. While the act of structuring — whether the funds are from a legal or illegal source — is against the law, I.R.S.-C.I. special agents will use this act as an indicator that further illegal activity may be occurring.”

Political response. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and senior member of the Finance Committee, commented in response that “[t]he IRS plays a role in fighting money laundering and other criminal activity, but it has to treat business owners fairly. If the pendulum has swung too far in favor of the government and against fairness for innocent people, then it’s time to reform civil asset forfeiture laws and procedures.”

Legislative proposals. There have been a number of recent bills introduced regarding civil asset forfeiture (which has become an increasingly prevalent issue over the past few years, with alleged abuses occurring at the state and local levels in addition to misuse by federal agencies) prior to this latest scandal. S.2644, the “Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act of 2014,” was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) back in July. The bill would make the federal government’s standard of proof in civil forfeiture proceedings be “clear and convincing evidence” and would require the government, in addition to showing a substantial connection between the seized property and the offense in a forfeiture proceeding, to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the owner of any interest in the seized property intentionally used the property (or knowingly consented or was willfully blind to the use of the property by another) in connection with the offense.

H.R. 5212, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014,” was also introduced in July by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). The bill would similarly make the government’s standard of proof be “clear and convincing evidence,” require the government to notify all owners of forfeited property of the possibility of using a public defender to argue their case, and expand the criteria to consider when weighing the proportionality of the amount of the forfeiture against the connected crime.

To read the original article at Reuters, click here. 

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Hillsdale: Walberg introduces legislation to reform civil asset forfeiture laws


HILLSDALE — Civil asset forfeiture is a practice by which the government can seize and sell a person’s property without the individual ever being charged with a crime. If a person’s property is suspected of being used for criminal activity, then it is subject to seizure; this includes cash, vehicles and even homes.

On July 28, Rep. Tim Walberg introduced H.R. 5212 – the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act – which, according to a release, seeks to restore personal property rights under the Fifth Amendment and ensure due process of law by reforming long-standing civil forfeiture policy.

In the release, it’s reported current law allows agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take property suspected to be connected with a crime without charging, let alone convicting, the property owner of a crime.

The Federal Asset Forfeiture Fund collected more than $2 billion in 2013 from civil and criminal forfeitures policy.

Cases of civil asset forfeiture have occurred in Michigan. Longtime grocer Terry Dehko, of Fraser, had his bank accounts seized by IRS because they suspected him of being a money launderer. The charges were never filed, but Dehko had to prove his money was not used in a criminal enterprise.

In cases throughout the country there have been instances of law enforcement agencies seizing property and using the money for extravagant purchases. Some police agencies have been found to have spent the money on outlandish items like margarita machines or vacation trips for friends of the force.

With more and more instances being reported on throughout the country, there has been increased pressure on lawmakers to make a change. This has ultimately led to the pending legislation.

In 2012 local police agencies in Hillsdale County reported zero asset forfeiture funds. However, according to the state of Michigan, the Hillsdale County Sheriff and Hillsdale County Prosecutors reported $7,866 in forfeiture funds – that number is up $4,192 from 2011 when $3,674 was reported.

For comparison, Branch County reported $3,960 in 2012. That number is up $3,152 from $808 in 2011. Similarly, Lenawee county reported $3,100 in 2012 – that reporting increased $2,097 from $1,003 in 2011.

Hillsdale’s northern neighbor, Jackson County, comes in much higher with $20,833 reported in 2012. That number is down $31,041 from the $51,874 reported in 2011.

“In a country founded on principles of due process and property rights, we should not be promoting a system where an individual’s property may be seized without a finding of guilt,” Walberg said in his press release. “Reform to our civil asset forfeiture laws is necessary to ensure the federal government can no longer profit from the unjust seizure of property.”

According to Walberg’s office in Washington D.C, the proposed legislation was introduced in direct response to several recent stories involving innocent property owners having their property seized by federal officials.

 “This legislation provides commonsense reforms to restore the balance of power away from the government and back to protecting individual rights and due process," Walberg said. "We cannot abide a system where citizens fear that law enforcement can seize, forfeit and profit from their property."

Walberg was in Hillsdale last week and said the bill is gaining bipartisan support; he said there may be enough support by next term to get it passed. Walberg said that when a piece of legislation has both liberal and conservative media outlets supporting it, it has a very good chance of becoming law.

On July 27 the bill was referred to the house judiciary committee, and then on Sept. 25 the legislation was referred to the congressional subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations.

To read the original article at the Daily News, click here

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Washintgon Post: Congress expresses doubt about U.S. Ebola precautions


Lawmakers voiced skepticism on Friday about Obama administration assurances that government measures are likely to succeed in protecting the United States, and U.S. soldiers overseas, from further spread of the Ebola virus.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, characterized the administration’s response to the disease so far as “bumbling.”

“I think we all know that the system is not yet refined to where we could say it is working properly,” he said during a hearing on government management of the disease.

Issa and other members of Congress questioned measures the administration had taken to prepare for a possible pandemic before Ebola appeared in U.S. hospitals, and their recommendations to health-care workers and the public since then.

The hearing came the morning after a New York doctor who recently returned from West Africa was confirmed to have Ebola. He was the fourth person to be diagnosed with the disease in the United States.

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Defense Department detailed plans for preventing the spread of Ebola at home and among U.S. troops being sent to the disease’s epicenter in West Africa.

Earlier this year, President Obama ordered up to 4,000 U.S. soldiers be sent to West Africa to train local health workers, build treatment facilities and help coordinate the international response to the disease.

But lawmakers pointed out that the government’s own guidelines for quarantine, travel safety and the protection of medical workers appeared to have evolved in the weeks since Ebola was first diagnosed in a U.S. hospital.

“Lately, when a government agency comes before this committee, especially, and tells me, ‘There’s nothing to worry about. We got this,’ that’s when I start to worry,” said Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.).

Nicole Laurie, a senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the risk of a significant Ebola outbreak in the United States is “remote.”

“Based on the first U.S. cases, HHS has already made adjustments to minimize the spread of Ebola,” she said. “These include tightened guidance for the use of personal protective equipment, an expanded aggressive national education campaign for health-care workers, and screening and active monitoring of passengers entering the United States, now funneled through five airports.”

She said it was natural that procedures had changed after the disease appeared in the United States.

But Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United, told lawmakers that American health-care workers remained at risk. She said nurses had gotten inconsistent instructions, were often left to make decisions about proper precautions for themselves and at times had been forced to improvise their own protective gear.

She said only new, legally required guidelines would ensure medical facilities will provide workers the protection they need.

“The response to Ebola from U.S. hospitals and governmental agencies has been dangerously inconsistent and inadequate,” she said.

John Roth, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, told lawmakers that the administration had mishandled a nearly $50 million program to prepare for pandemics.

The Department purchased coveralls and surgical masks, for example, that may have been unneeded, while other gear, such as respirators, had expired, Roth said. Officials are now working to address those problems, he said.

“I think it’s evident by the hearing today and hearings that will go on that you’re not bringing us a sense of security,” said Tim Walberg (R-Mich.).

Lawmakers also probed officials about plans for protecting troops sent to West Africa.

“The safety of our service members . . . is absolutely paramount, and while you can never mitigate risk to zero, I think we’ve taken all the steps to mitigate the risk,” said Michael Lumpkin, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Officials acknowledged the U.S. government would currently only be able to bring less than 10 symptomatic soldiers home per week. The military is working to develop isolation pods that could move up to 15 sick patients by air at a time.

Defense officials explained some guidelines for keeping soldiers safe in West Africa. For example: asking soldiers to stand three feet from local nationals and washing their hands with chlorine. Soldiers’ temperatures will be taken twice a day.

To read the original article at Washington Post, click here.  Read More

Forbes: Federal Forfeiture Program: What's It Funding?


Cops are increasingly looking and acting more like soldiers. How are they paying for all this militarized equipment? One source of funding is particularly disconcerting for Americans’ constitutional rights: equitable sharing.

Under this federal forfeiture program, local and state law enforcement can seize—and keep—cash, cars and other property they suspect have links to crime. Yet the taken property overwhelmingly came from people who have done nothing wrong. According to a new investigation by The Washington Post, the government never charged property owners with a crime in 81 percent of equitable sharing cases. Since 2008, 5,400 police departments and task forces have spent $2.5 billion in federally forfeited property.

These off-budget funds are a driving force behind the militarization of America’s police forces, giving rise to “warrior cops.”  A Georgia town of 8,000 people spent nearly $80,000 on weapons and protective gear, including 27 M-4 rifles. Another department in Georgia purchased an eight-ton BearCat armored personnel carrier for $227,000. Police in Prince George’s County, Md. obtained a “mobile command bus” worth $1.2 million. Nationwide, police have spent over $175 millionin equitable sharing funds on weaponry.

While these procurements are helping transform Officer Friendly into G.I. Joe, other police purchases uncovered by the Post were more lavish. Or just plain ridiculous. To paint kids’ faces at an Easter party, police in Reminderville, Ohio hired “Sparkles the Clown” for $225. One Texas sheriff’s department spent $637 on a coffee maker, and over $5,000 on “banquets, luncheons and fundraisers” and expenses for the “Smokin Pigs Cooking Team.” The Sheriff’s Office in Mesa County, Colo. paid over $8,400 to send 20 lawyers to a conference at a ski resort in 2009. Agencies around the country have bought dozens of “new and used sports and luxury cars, including at least 15 Mercedes, a dozen Mustangs, a handful of BMWs and two Corvettes.”

Other police and prosecutors have infamously used forfeiture funds to buy Hawaiian vacations and a margarita machine. Or as John Oliver put it, “They were literally using this money as their own personal slush fund.”

Meanwhile, more altruistic causes are getting short shrift. Less than one percent of all equitable sharing funds, or about $20 million, has funded “community-based programs.” According to the Justice Department, these programs can include “a drug treatment facility, job skills program, or a youth program with drug and crime prevention education.” Yet even this paltry figure may be inflated: Hiring Sparkles the Clown was listed as a “community-based program.”

Moreover, there is an appalling lack of oversight and accountability. The Department of Justice has only been able to audit 25 out of the 5,400 police departments and task forces that partake in equitable sharing. While the Justice Department’s guidelines admonish that “agencies should not ‘spend it before you get it’ or budget anticipated receipts,” that hasn’t stopped 100 departments and task forces from receiving the equivalent of at least 20 percent of their budgets from equitable sharing. For one Maryland police department, asset forfeiture is used both “in tight budget periods, and even in times of budget surpluses.”

The weak safeguards don’t stop there. In callous disregard for federalism, police can routinely evade state restrictions and cash in through civil forfeiture, so long as they collaborate with a federal agency. For instance, Missouri and North Carolina are two of just eight states that ban law enforcement from keeping any forfeiture proceeds, according to the Institute for Justice’s report, “Policing for Profit.” But these laws don’t apply to property seized under equitable sharing. So if local and state law enforcement partner with an agency like the DEA, they can take property under federal law, and keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds.

In Missouri, instead of padding police budgets, any revenue generated from forfeiting property is supposed to fund public schools. But equitable sharing completely undermines that arrangement. In 2010, the Missouri State Auditor reported that of $5.7 million seized that year, “less than $26,000 went to Missouri public schools.” In contrast, over $4.2 million was transferred to a federal agency through equitable sharing, and then funneled back to local law enforcement.

Similarly, North Carolina is the only state in the country that essentially does not have civil forfeiture, instead requiring a criminal conviction before the government can take someone’s property. Yet law enforcement still spent over $90 million in federally forfeited assets since 2008. In fact, according to The Washington Post, North Carolina and Missouri are the seventh and tenth largest spenders of equitable sharing funds respectively.

Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Tim Walberg haveintroduced new legislation that would either end or curb equitable sharing, thereby stemming the flow of military-grade equipment onto our nation’s streets. As local police departments continue to metastasize into paramilitary units, civil forfeiture reform is vital to reverse this disturbing trend.

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The Blade: Star-spangled assembly kicks off students’ D.C. trip


DUNDEE, Mich. — A Dundee High School special assembly last week promoted an upcoming student trip to the nation’s capital, featured a congressman as keynote speaker, and celebrated George Washington with the dedication of a portrait of the first president that came from his Mount Vernon estate.

About a dozen students will spend the week before Thanksgiving in Washington catching the sights and learning how government works, said history teacher Paul Walters, who will accompany them.

The assembly kicked off with a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the school choir, with piano accompaniment by music teacher Haley Sulisz, that earned applause from the audience in the school gym.

Mr. Walters then explained Project Close Up, a national nonprofit program that helps finance field trips to Washington. The students, he said, “get out of school for a week, but it’s not a vacation.”

Jon Vogt, another history teacher, who wore a George Washington T-shirt, spoke more about the project, and the choir launched into “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”

Seniors Holly Harnica and Kaitlin Symanns then recalled their experiences on the field trip to D.C. last year. Holly said she would remember the trip all her life and recalled visiting the Supreme Court. But the most memorable part, she said, was interacting with students from around the country.

Mr. Vogt then spoke of Mount Vernon and George Washington, telling the students “there’s no one who exemplifies American history” more than the first president. Mr. Vogt promised a box of candy to students who could explain five points from Washington’s Farewell Address, delivered in 1796.

The extemporaneous keynote address was given by U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R., Tipton). He described the 7th Congressional District, which he represents and which includes Monroe County, as “the gateway to Pure Michigan” and a place of rich history, including the War of 1812. He told the students they were as American as George Washington was, “as American as anyone who came before you,” and that this status carried responsibilities.

Then the portrait of George Washington was unveiled. Mount Vernon also donated an American flag that flew over the estate.

To read the original article, click here

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The Blaze: The Government Doesn’t Need to Charge You With a Crime to Seize Your Assets and Property


Did you know you don’t actually need to be charged with a crime for the government to seize your financial and property assets?

Under U.S. law, it can take only the suspicion of a crime to turn lives upside down and seize the property of innocent citizens.

The civil asset forfeiture law allows government agencies like the IRS or the Department of Justice to confiscate anyone’s property without obtaining criminal charges against them.

Originally intended to seize the assets of money launderers and drug dealers, the law’s low requirement threshold has allowed government agencies to incorrectly identify someone as a possible suspect in a crime take their assets. It can take more than a year for an innocent person who has had their business, property or finances seized to be cleared of wrongdoing, during which time they can lose everything, said Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), who is working to reform the law.

Walberg has introduced the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, which would require the government to show proof that an individual was involved in criminal wrongdoing before it can seize property. Currently before the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation has several cosponsors but may have difficulty passing both the House and Senate.

Wednesday’s new episode of TheBlaze TV’s For the Record, “Seized,” will reveal how thousands of people have become innocent victims of the government’s forfeiture law and what they are doing to fight back.

“This has a tremendous negative impact on our freedoms and the ability to carry on our government the way it’s been established according to the Constitution,” Walberg said. “That’s not what government should be, in the place of being a fearmonger, a producer of fear in the peoples’ lives and ultimately, using their power to extract resources for their own benefit.”

David B. Smith, an asset forfeiture attorney  based in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital, told TheBlaze that many small-business owners become targets of the government because they don’t have a full understanding of the law. He said many small-business owners draw the attention of the IRS when they inadvertently engage in “structuring,” a banking tactic often used by money launderers.

Structuring is when someone makes deposits or withdrawals of less $10,000 to avoid having the bank file a currency transaction report with the IRS or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Business owners, however, have told Smith they believed they were following the law when they made deposits or withdrawals of less than $10,000.

Smith, who helped draft the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and other federal and state forfeiture laws, said the banks don’t warn customers that they will be targeted by the government if they make these types of deposits.

“There are federal judges who don’t know it’s illegal. There are loads of lawyers who don’t know it’s illegal, even criminal defense lawyers, because very few people handle these types of cases,” Smith said.

But it’s not just seizing people’s assets without proper cause that’s a concern. According to the Institute of Justice, a civil liberties law firm and government watchdog group, allegations of overreach by law enforcement have included using forfeiture funds to purchase unnecessary and often outlandish items, including:

• In Georgia, a district attorney’s used forfeiture funds to buy steak, booze and to see CeeLo Green in Concert.

• In Texas, a district attorney used $500 dollars of seized forfeiture funds to buy tequila, rum and a margarita machine to throw a party.

• Another Texas district attorney spent $27,000 to attend a conference in Hawaii.

• A Georgia sheriff’s office spent $90,000 on a Dodge Viper for its D.A.R.E. program.

But it’s what law enforcement officials themselves say that reveals how dependent the agencies have become on forfeiture funds. At a Columbia, Missouri, Citizens Police Review Board in November 2012, Police Chief Ken Burton explained in detail how his department uses the forfeiture funds, saying there are no real limitations on what the departments can buy.

“We usually base it on something that would be nice to have,” Burton. “We usually base it on something that would be nice to have that we can’t get in the budget for. We try not to use it for things that we need to depend on … it’s kinda like ‘Pennies from Heaven’ to get you a toy or something that you need is the way we typically look at it.”

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Tim Walberg Honored as Guardian of Small Business by NFIB


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Rep. Walberg was named a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for his voting record on behalf of America’s small-business owners in the 113th Congress.

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner praised Rep. Walberg for “standing up for small business.” In presenting the group’s coveted Guardian of Small Business Award, Danner said, “Small-business owners are very politically active – paying close attention to how their lawmakers vote on key business issues and stand by those who stand for them.”

“The record shows that Rep.Walberg is a true champion of small business, supporting the votes that matter in the 113th Congress,” said Danner. “This award reflects our members’ appreciation for supporting the NFIB pro-growth agenda for small business. 

Rep. Walberg released the following statement after receiving the award:

“With small businesses creating and employing more than 50 percent of the workforce, I am honored to be recognized with an award that champions their success. I will continue to support efforts which create jobs and give small businesses the tools they need to grow and expand.”

NFIB’s “How Congress Voted,” which serves as a report card for members of Congress, was also unveiled this week. The report presents key small-business votes and voting percentages for each lawmaker. Those voting favorably on key small-business issues at least 70 percent of the time during the 113th Congress are eligible for the Guardian award.

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Walberg Votes for Bills to Reduce Energy Costs & Promote Job Creation


Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Walberg voted in favor of H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act, and H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act. H.R. 2 is a comprehensive package of energy bills already passed by the House and awaiting a Senate vote that would expand energy production and lower energy costs. H.R. 4 is a single jobs package of bills that includes legislation to reduce federal regulations, lower taxes and equip job-creators with the tools they need to succeed.

“American families and American businesses are struggling under excessive federal regulations, high energy costs and burdensome taxes. We can’t afford to wait any longer to address these issues. I’m proud to support these pieces of legislation that reaffirm our commitment to an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy and creating jobs for a healthy economy,” said Rep. Walberg following the vote.

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Rep Walberg Welcomes Constituents to Receive Angels in Adoption Award


Washington, D.C. —  Rep. Tim Walberg is proud to announce that Dick and Cathy Caskey from North Adams have been named Angels in Adoption recipients through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). The Caskeys have five biological children and have given 16 adopted children a loving home.

“The Angels in Adoption award could not go to a more deserving couple.  Dick and Cathy Caskey feel every child deserves to be in a home where he or she is cherished and have opened their hearts to special needs children over the years that have been challenged with blindness, epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy and other difficulties. They are truly an inspiration,” said Rep. Walberg.

The Angels in Adoption program was established in 1999 and is a public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and abroad.  The Caskeys were honored at the annual CCAI awards ceremony on September 16 in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of other recipients from around the country.

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Walberg Votes to Assist Veterans


Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Walberg voted for a package of bills to help our nation’s veterans.  Among the bills passed with bipartisan support are measures to rein in out-of-control costs of three major Veterans Affairs projects, provide for a cost-of-living increase for certain disabled veterans and their dependents, and extend a number of important programs which help female veterans and homeless veterans.

“I remain committed to assisting our nation’s veterans and ensuring they have access to the benefits they deserve.  Today’s legislation illustrates the House’s continued commitment to delivering on these promises while also rooting out waste and abuse within the VA,” said Rep. Walberg following the votes.       

Background on bills:

  •  H.R. 3593 The VA Construction Assistance Act would implement reforms to expedite construction and rein in the out-of-control costs of three major VA regional projects under development
  • H.R. 5404 - Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act would extend a number of programs benefitting female veterans, homeless veterans and student veterans and other authorities given to the VA pertaining to health care, housing and transportation
  • H.R. 4276 - Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Improvement Act would require the VA to submit detailed quarterly reports to the Congress regarding the pilot program for rehabilitative services for veterans with traumatic brain injury
  • S. 2258 - Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act would provide for an increase in the rates of compensation of veterans with service connected disabilities and rates of dependency and indemnity compensation or the survivors of certain disabled veterans


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Contact Information

2436 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6276
Fax 202-225-6281

Tim Walberg is currently serving his third term in Congress as the representative of south-central Michigan.  The diverse constituency of Michigan’s 7th District encompasses Branch, Eaton, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties, along with parts of Washtenaw County.  Since first taking office, Tim has hosted hundreds of coffee and town hall meetings to better understand the thoughts and concerns of the district.

Prior to his time in public office, Tim served as a pastor in Michigan and Indiana, as president of the Warren Reuther Center for Education and Community Impact, and as a division manager for Moody Bible Institute.  He also served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1999, and is proud to bring his reputation as a principled legislator, fiscal reformer, and defender of traditional values to Washington.

In the 113th Congress, Tim serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee.  In addition, he serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He and his wife, Sue, have been married for over 39 years, and enjoy spending time outdoors and riding on their Harley. They live in Tipton, Michigan, where they raised their three children: Matthew, Heidi and Caleb.

Serving With

Dan Benishek


Bill Huizenga


Justin Amash


Dave Camp


Fred Upton


Mike Rogers


Candice Miller


Kerry Bentivolio


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