Substance abuse and mental health issues affect millions of American families nationwide, and unfortunately, Missouri is no exception. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2018 data, 128 Americans pass away each day from an opioid overdose, and we lose another 123 Americans to suicide each day. As shocking as these statistics are, the numbers are projected to be even worse due to the coronavirus pandemic. September is National Recovery Month and a great opportunity to increase awareness and remove the stigmas of substance abuse and mental health.
Over the last six months, the blanket shutdowns that have occurred nationwide have wreaked havoc on our economy, job market, and education system among many other things. While it was, of course, necessary to focus a significant portion of our attention on the virus and pandemic, it unfortunately caused many other health resources to fall by the wayside resulting in a number of other unintended consequences. Some of the most tragic unintended consequences we have seen come out of this pandemic are the major upticks we have seen in substance abuse and mental health problems. Unemployment has played a huge role in this problem and has caused many Americans who have been unable to work and faced massive financial burdens to suffer from substance abuse, depression and other mental health problems. Workers who have lost their jobs have wondered how they will pay their bills or feed their families, parents who have been able to continue to work have struggled to find the balance between homeschooling and working, and people who were already facing substance abuse or mental health issues have been unable to get the proper care. This has also been an especially difficult time for our state’s veterans, many of whom rely on mental health resources and health care from the VA hospital which was forced to severely limit services. While temporary shutdowns were necessary for some areas of the country to slow the spread, coronavirus numbers are improving nationwide and our labor market continues to bounce back. It is imperative that America gets back to business as usual for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is to allow anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health problems to resume normal life and get the help they need.
One in five Americans lives with a mental health disorder or struggles with substance abuse. We lost almost 2,000 Missourians in 2019 to overdoses, and I am determined to do everything I can as your Representative to help this number go down. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, which renews and expands funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). Missouri is one of eight states participating in the program and has seen great success with the clinics. The CCBHCs provide outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and coordination of care and partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans groups. The clinics provide 24/7 care 365 days a year and have been a major lifeline in helping Missourians who struggle with mental health and substance abuse problems. My fellow Missourian Senator Roy Blunt has championed this bill in the Senate, and I am hopeful together we can get it passed and signed into law soon after such a difficult year.
For any Missourians who are struggling with mental health and would like to talk to professionals, please visit the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s website (dmh.mo.gov/mental-illness). And the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK. For any veterans who are seeking support, the Veterans Crisis Line can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing “1.” This helpline is toll-free, confidential, and answered 24/7 by qualified responders, many of whom are veterans themselves. Supporting mental health and substance abuse recovery services is always a priority for me in Congress, but now more than ever after the difficult year our country has faced with coronavirus and its effects.Read More
Nineteen years ago today at 8:46 A.M., terrorists flew a highjacked plane of Americans into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. By 10:03 that morning, three more planes had crashed into the South Tower, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. This was not only the most deadly terrorist attack ever to take place on American soil, but one of the most deadly terrorist attacks to ever take place in human history. It was one of the worst days ever in America, but the heroism and pride for this country that came out of it has been remarkable to witness.
In 2002, President Bush declared September 11th “Patriot Day” to remember the victims lost in the attacks. September 11, 2001 was one of the most painful moments in our country’s history, but the resulting patriotism has been truly incredible. Firefighters, police officers, EMT’s and civilians rushed toward the scenes to help get their fellow Americans to safety. On United Flight 93, the passengers aboard sacrificed their own lives and took down the plane in a field Pennsylvania to prevent the loss of any more innocent American lives. These patriots will be remembered forever for making the ultimate sacrifice for this country and their memories will live on in our nation’s history.
We lost nearly 3,000 American lives on September 11th but unfortunately the casualties did not stop there. The first responders who rushed into the danger as everyone else was getting out of it have continued to suffer the effects from that tragic day in September 2001. Many of these heroes have passed away and experienced severe heath issues like cancer and respiratory problems caused by the dangerous nature of their rescue work in the days and months following 9/11. To help support these incredible men and women who risked their lives to save others, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund was created to provide health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders and their families. Last year, I was extremely proud to vote to reauthorize this fund for the next ten years and President Trump promptly signed it into law. We can never repay the brave Americans who put themselves in harm’s way following 9/11 for their sacrifices, but this fund is designed to make life a little bit easier for the survivors and their families.
September 11th left a terrible mark on our history, but it gave this country the opportunity to show its resiliency and its strength. We lost thousands of innocent Americans that day who will never be forgotten. Now, we honor them each year on Patriot Day, and celebrate this wonderful country who came together to rebuild and honor their memories.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in a hearing entitled “Ensuring a Free, Fair, and Safe Election During the Coronavirus Pandemic” the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) discussed success with voter participation and maintaining election integrity with committee witness, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.
Click HERE to watch.
“I am pleased to have Secretary Ashcroft from my home state and discuss the success he is experiencing with voter participation and election integrity. Under his leadership Missouri has strengthened voter ID laws while experiencing record voter turnout. More Missourians are voting, and they’re doing it safely and in person.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following op-ed by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman William Isaac can be found on AmericanBanker.com.
“Everyone is convinced that accounting standards are simply too boring and too intricate for anyone to pay attention to.”
Those were the opening remarks of Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing earlier this year with accounting standards officials. Sherman, a CPA and the chairman of the subcommittee, is absolutely right. To most Americans, accounting is boring and appears too menial to spend time reviewing.
However, when looking at the astonishing impacts accounting standards have on the U.S. and world economy, everyone would be well served to resist glazing over the rules, and pay close attention to what’s brewing in Norwalk, Conn. where the Financial Accounting Standards Board is headquartered.
Paying close attention, however, is not sufficient. The FASB is a self-appointed private entity operating with impunity and virtually no supervision from Congress or the federal financial regulators. Congress must act soon to ensure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulators have proper oversight of this powerful, private-sector organization.
Lack of oversight of FASB has resulted in devastating impacts on the nation’s economy in the past and will continue to do so in the future if safeguards are not enacted soon.
In late 2007, financial institutions were forced to implement FASB’s so-called mark-to-market accounting standard which required banks to account for the fair value of an asset based on the current market price.
What FASB failed to consider was the effect this accounting standard would have on macroeconomic conditions. So when the financial crisis hit in 2008, institutions were forced to writedown nearly $2 trillion in assets, causing banks across the county to shutter and creating the largest loss of personal wealth in world history.
In a reluctant recognition of the damage done by the mark-to-market standard, FASB reconsidered it in 2009 and proposed more appropriate guidelines on how to value assets.
Just a decade later, financial institutions are facing another unprecedented situation due to the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
And once again, accounting standards officials and regulators are poised to make the situation much worse. In a similar fashion to the mark-to-market standard, FASB in 2016 issued its current expected credit losses, or CECL, accounting standard, which requires financial institutions to estimate and then reserve immediately for the anticipated lifetime losses of a loan. It basically requires banks to predict and reserve against losses spanning as much as 30 years into the future for mortgages.
Just like 2007, FASB issued this standard with no economic study of how CECL would affect the economy or access to credit for consumers and small businesses.
The CECL standard is exacerbating the current downturn and resulting in financial institutions dramatically increasing their reserves, taking billions of dollars out of the economy. This ultimately means consumers and small businesses will have considerably less access to credit.
Fearing a repeat of 2008, Congress included a provision in the recent coronavirus relief package allowing financial institutions to suspend the implementation of CECL. Bank regulators also issued an interim rule preventing CECL from impacting the regulatory capital of banks for two years. It should be noted that FASB opposed both efforts.
While these are good measures, Congress should come to the same realization that industry, stakeholders, investors and regulators already have: the CECL standard does not work, is incredibly damaging and needs to be eliminated.
A House bill (H.R. 7914) was recently introduced to do just that. Not only does the bill ensure the ill-advised accounting standard does not wreak any additional havoc on the economy, it will be a no-cost injection of capital into the economy through providing relief to the institutions that have been forced to drastically increase reserves.
While eliminating the CECL standard is essential to preventing the government from hampering the recovery — or making matters even worse — simply doing no harm by ending it is not enough.
Congress and regulators must take proactive measures to ensure financial institutions are able to assist America’s small businesses and families in righting the ship.
In order to do that, financial institutions must have the flexibility to work with customers whose accounts have been harmed by the virus and subsequent economic shutdown. Without forbearance for institutions, examiners will have very little alternative other than to force financial institutions to negatively classify loans and even write them off entirely.
Banks will not be legally allowed to work with their customers but instead be forced to cut their losses and leave consumers, who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, out in the cold.
In response, a second proposal called the Financial Institution Forbearance Act is a bipartisan bill that allows depository institutions to move assets that were modified due to the coronavirus impact to a separate account on the balance sheet where it will not be criticized by examiners or accountants for a temporary period of time.
This additional time will also give families, businesses and banks time to work together to stabilize these loans and allow hardworking Americans to get back on their feet. Without it, we will almost certainly experience the collapse of local markets due to wholesale shutdowns of lines of business, as seen in the 2008 recession. This bill protects the economy from further damage without spending a penny of taxpayer money.
The resiliency and ingenuity of the American economy can overcome any obstacle put in its way. However, regulation and complacency should not be allowed to slow the economic rebound. Congress must act to allow financial institutions to help their customers and save the thousands, if not millions, of jobs at stake.
These bills are easy solutions that will not only help banks, businesses, local communities and millions of hard-working Americans, but it will be a catalyst for economic recovery once the pandemic is behind us.
Blaine Luetkemeyer represents Missouri’s Third District and serves on the House Financial Services Committee. William M. Isaac served as Chairman of the FDIC from 1978-1985.Read More
For most of us, Labor Day Weekend means the end of the summer. We use the long weekend to spend time with our families and cook hotdogs and hamburgers in the backyard before the leaves start to turn and we settle into another school year. But the origin of Labor Day has a deeper meaning. The first Monday of September was officially declared “Labor Day” by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 to celebrate the hardworking Americans who make this country great. Celebrating American workers is especially meaningful this year as the coronavirus has turned our economy and the job market upside-down. Over the spring and summer many parents worked from home while performing their new second job: teacher’s assistant. And businesses in every community did everything they could to keep their doors open and workers employed.
Just last week, the United States Department of Labor release the most recent jobs numbers which showed claims for jobless benefits and unemployment are down meaning people are finding jobs and the labor market is improving. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been dramatic and workers and their families across the country have felt the effects. This is a crisis like our country has never seen and joblessness reached a record high in April. While numbers are improving America continues to get back to work, not everyone has been able to return. For any Missourians seeking help with unemployment, the Missouri Department of Labor can be reached at 800-320-2519 or on their website at labor.mo.gov. They can advise you with filing claims, figuring out eligibility and connecting you with professionals who can help.
Dealing with the coronavirus has also allowed for a deeper appreciation among Americans for the hardworking people who work in manufacturing and supply chains. The virus and mass shutdowns nationwide have shown us never to take our country’s workers for granted. While we were used to modern comforts like clicking a mouse and having items show up on our doorstep two days later or going to a grocery store with shelves that were constantly fully stocked, the coronavirus no longer made these things possible. At a larger level, we learned that we had become almost entirely reliant on China for the production of our pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment. Cheap prices and easy accessibility caused us to look past the origin of our products, but we now know in order to ensure Americans have the products we need, the products must be made by Americans. Just like the trucks built in Wentzville and windows made in Freeburg, the safety of our medication should be trusted to U.S. workers.
Fortunately, our country’s job numbers are getting better and America is getting back to work. Following a difficult few months, this weekend is a great time to gather with family and neighbors to catch up on each other’s summers and discuss a more excited fall to come. Please stay safe and have a very happy Labor Day.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in a hearing entitled “The Administration’s Response to the Economic Crisis” the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) discussed the economic effects of the coronavirus with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Click HERE to watch.
Congressman Luetkemeyer: “Mr. Secretary, you and I talk about this just about every time we meet. As you know, CECL is one of the hot button issues for me…. I’ve got a bill to try and get rid of it altogether…"
Secretary Mnuchin: “We would be supportive of that.”
Congressman Luetkemeyer: “The other thing I want to talk about with regard to regulation is the Troubled Debt Restructuring Rule. As you know… in the CARES Act we suspended that rule for a period of time here and I think it’s going to continue to be important that we allow forbearance from the regulators to the banks and credit unions to be able to give forbearance to customers to be able to get our economy back on track.”
Secretary Mnuchin: “Yes, I agree with you on that as well.”Read More
This was the first week back to school for many students in the Third District. Since our state’s schools closed in April parents, students, and teachers have all stepped up to adapt to distance learning and ensure our kids don’t fall behind. While learning from home was an acceptable alternative as we began understanding the virus and preparing our response, Missouri’s numbers have dramatically improved, cases and fatalities have decreased over the last few months and it is time to finally return to school.
Attending school in person is critical for the social, physical and academic well-being of the students. The American Association of Pediatrics said it “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” In July in the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, we heard from two of America’s top medical experts, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci who both confirmed the urgent need to get students back to school this fall for face-to-face learning and the unintended health consequences that could come along with keeping children at home. America’s kids have been at home missing their friends, teachers, sports, extracurriculars, regular classes and the socialization that school allows. Safely allowing them to have a sense of normalcy after a trying couple of months is exactly what most children need.
Fortunately, the Governor, our state’s school administrators, Department of Elementary and Secondary Educated (DESE), and Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) saw the urgent need for students to be able to learn in person and have gone above and beyond to get schools ready and adapted to deal with the challenges coronavirus imposes. The state has distributed 1.8 million masks to Missouri schools so students, staff, teachers, and families can feel more at ease with the return to in-person learning. And DESE and DHSS have released guidelines for school administrators to help ensure the safety for everyone present in schools. Students will be practicing social distancing, wearing masks when that’s not possible, and there are contingency plans in place should someone in the school start feeling symptoms of coronavirus to keep the virus from spreading. The federal government is also playing its part. Nearly $55 million from the CARES Act has gone to Missouri’s K-12 schools to allow for things like more broadband connectivity for students and increased support for students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic.
Back to school season is always exciting. Children look forward to seeing their friends, catching up on their summers, meeting new teachers and starting a whole new chapter of learning. We might not be totally back to normal for all Missouri students, but we will get there. In the meantime, families can find more information on the safety protocols that will be used in Missouri schools at dese.mo.gov. And please remember to thank the teachers, administrators, and everyone working at our schools to keep our students safe. What is a challenging and extremely impactful profession even in the best of times has gotten much harder with this virus, and we so appreciate their dedication to our children and communities.Read More
Of the numerous services the federal government provides, the United States Post Office (USPS) is one of the very few actually named in the Constitution. Our founders fully understood the importance of a national postal service and left no doubt that it should be a priority. Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported the Postal Service and continue to be especially supportive of helping our rural post offices stay open for business. This Congress, I have been proud to co-sponsor two bills to support the USPS. The first is a bill to help the USPS ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service. Saturday mail delivery is what helps the USPS stand out from its competitors and small businesses, direct mailers, and weekly newspapers rely on the USPS to get their Saturday deliveries to them on time. The second allows the USPS to continue delivering mail directly to America’s doorsteps. Letter carriers are valued members of our communities and deliver mail to the doors of over 36 million American businesses and households. I was proud to vote to help this time-honored tradition continue and to allow our letter carriers continue to do what they do best.
Over the last two weeks there has been a lot of concern over the viability of the Post Office. Some people have gone as far as saying President Trump is sabotaging the Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting in November. Not only are these accusations ridiculous, Speaker Pelosi and her cohorts in the media know full well that the President doesn’t even pick the Postmaster General. They also understand that the Post Office is perfectly capable of handling the tiny uptick in mail the election could present. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was unanimously elected in May 2020 by the United States Postal Service Board of Governors, not by the President. It is important to note that each member of the USPS Board of Governors was unanimously approved by the Senate. Not one Senator voted against any of the Board members who selected Mr. DeJoy. Yet, to cause confusion and fan political flames, the very Senators who approved the Board are acting like they don’t know it exists.
Despite the coordinated fear mongering, those who know best continue to say the Postal Service is well-equipped and able. According to a former commissioner from the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, Ruth Y. Goldway who served in this position for 18 years under three different presidents, our Postal Service is “perfectly capable of handling election mail.” The USPS chief logistics and processing operations officer and executive vice president, David Williams and general counsel and executive vice president, Thomas Marshall recently stated that “[o]n any given day, the Postal Service delivers more than 425 million pieces of mail, and our best estimates are that election mail will account for less than 2% of all mail volume from mid-September until Election Day.” Even the far-left leaning New York Times admitted, “[e]xperts agree that the Postal Service has the raw capacity to absorb additional ballots, even if 150 million people decided to vote by mail…”
That’s not to say the Postal Service doesn’t have issues. It absolutely does, but these problems are several years, if not decades, old. The biggest problem is that many Americans have moved from traditional mail to online correspondence. Over the last 11 years – long before President Trump took office – the Postal Service has been losing money due to factors like the increased popularity of email and Americans’ ability to do things like pay their bills online. And while the USPS has felt the effects of the coronavirus just like almost every other industry nationwide, the United States Treasury has already made a $10 billion loan available to offset the pandemic’s effects.
Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats are crying wolf over a manufactured crisis to distract from the fact that they refused to work with Republicans and the President on further coronavirus relief for our nation – instead opting to recess for five weeks and let Americans fend for themselves. For fear that anything good for the country could be considered positive for the President, Democrats are promoting a conspiracy theory with the hopes of increasing Joe Biden’s chances of being elected. It is as immoral as it is desperate. This country is still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. That should be the focus of our efforts, not falsified claims about the Postal Service and intentionally creating chaos. Unfortunately, disinformation and chaos seems to be the only things that motivate the Speaker to open the doors of the House during her declared August recess.Read More
It only takes a couple minutes of watching TV or listening to the radio to be reminded of the many challenges COVID-19 presents. Depending on where in Missouri you live, we’ve had to make major changes in our day to day lives. What we don’t hear enough about are the various ways people are rising to the challenge. Here in the Third District, our local meat processors and butchers are extremely busy. COVID-19 has forced many larger processing plants to close for lack of workers, making smaller businesses the go-to place for farmers and ranchers during this time. Our state’s small businesses have jumped in to fill the gap and are doing it very well.
At the start of the pandemic, the closures of processing plants caused a supply chain disruption resulting in food shortages. Farmers couldn’t get their meat processed, and consumers couldn’t buy the food they needed to feed their families. Instead of just waiting for a solution to present itself, our farmers worked with the Missouri Farm Bureau to create the Meat Producer Directory, a great resource for Missourians to be able to buy beef, pork, lamb and poultry directly from meat producers right here in our state. The directory has been extremely helpful in finding smaller, family owned businesses to purchase food and support our local economy and neighbors. To find a meat producer near you, please visit mofb.org/missouri-meat-producers.
Fortunately, the Missouri Department of Agriculture just recently announced a $20 million grant for our state’s smaller meat processing businesses from CARES Act funding to help these businesses handle the increased demand. Operations with fewer than 200 employees are eligible, so this money is only going to the small businesses who really need it. The application deadline for the Missouri Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program is August 31, so be sure to check on your eligibility and get your application in soon. More information can be found at agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial.
We are still working to recover, but we will get there. Hopefully, most students will be back in school soon with the appropriate safety precautions, our economy will continue to bounce back, and life will begin to safely get back to normal for most of us. In the meantime, if there’s anything my office can do to help, we’re just a phone call away.
CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.Read More
Earlier this year, I was honored to be one of five Republicans selected to serve on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. My committee colleagues and I attend hearings weekly with experts from across the nation to find solutions and see where improvements can be made in areas like school re-openings, America’s economic damage, and unemployment as we deal with the virus and our nation’s recovery.
Last week, our committee heard from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield. In this hearing, both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield, two of the nation’s top medical experts, confirmed the need to get students back in school this fall for in-person learning and acknowledged the unintended consequences students might face if we continue distance learning, like psychological issues and unreported child abuse. Dr. Redfield, who is in charge of the top public health agency in the world said he couldn’t “emphasize it enough, it is in the public health’s interest of these K-12 students to get these schools back open for face-to-face learning.” Dr. Fauci shared this view and stated that America’s schools should “try to as best as we possibly can in the context of the safety of the children and the teachers, to open the schools.” While the members of the committee all possess their own views on this issue, it was extremely encouraging to hear two of this country’s leading health officials agree that for students’ physical, mental and academic well-being, we need to get them back to school.
Another issue I have become increasingly concerned about during my time on this committee is hospitals’ inflated COVID-19 fatality reporting. Under the CARES Act, an additional 20% has been added to the reimbursement amount for all COVID-19 related services performed in hospitals. My concern is that additional funding has provided a perverse incentive for these hospitals to attribute a patient’s death to COVID, even if it was not the ultimate cause. We are seeing instances where people are dying in car accidents or from heart attacks but happen to have COVID in their system at the time they pass away. Their deaths are being reported as COVID-related. Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania have all found hundreds of cases of deaths that were misreported as COVID-related and have since revised their fatality numbers. Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Admiral Brett Giroir and CDC Director Redfield both confirmed in separate Select Coronavirus Committee hearings that this practice could very well be taking place. Now more than ever, we need to be able to trust the numbers our medical officials tell us. I’ve sent letters to the CDC and HHS asking them to address this problem to ensure our nation has the most accurate count possible so they can be properly addressed by health officials, Congress and the Administration.
My service on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis has allowed me a unique perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week, we hear from not only experts but witnesses who are handling these issues first-hand from across the country. Having both points of view allows us to hear the data and numbers, but also how these problems are affecting real Americans and their everyday lives. While my role on the committee has made it especially clear that there is much to be done to get this nation back on stable footing, my colleagues and I both on the committee and in Congress remain more committed than ever to getting this great country back on track and thriving once again.Read More
2230 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
As the Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Blaine is committed to representing the interests of the hard-working people by being a strong voice for them in Washington, D.C.
Representing the 13 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Blaine is a native of St. Elizabeth, Mo. He has lived in the district with his family for four generations and he operates a 160-acre farm there.
Along with his strong agriculture background, Blaine was also a small businessman, having been in the banking and insurance business. He has also served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri earlier in his career.
From 1999 to 2005, Blaine was a Missouri State Representative and served as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee and was elected by his colleagues to serve as the House Republican Caucus Chairman. After leaving office, he was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to serve as the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.
Blaine was first elected to Congress in November 2008, and was re-elected in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.
In the 115th Congress, Blaine serves as a member of the House Financial Services Committee and as Chairman of Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. In addition, Blaine serves as vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee.
In the 113th Congress, Blaine was ranked Missouri’s most effective lawmaker. The Legislative Effectiveness Project, run by professors at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, measures how successful a given representative is at getting things done. The average score for any given member in the 113th Congress was 1.0. Blaine received a 2.344.
Blaine is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Eldon Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and a lifelong member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church. He is a graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., where he earned a degree with distinction in political science and a minor in business administration.
Blaine and his wife, Jackie, have three children and six grandchildren.
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