It’s a simple request from the TSA agent standing at airport security, “boarding pass and ID please.” Whether you travel weekly for business or save up all year to take a nice family vacation, the ability to travel around the country with only a driver’s license is a freedom that many Americans take for granted. That being said, what would you do if your Missouri-issued identification was not accepted at American airports? For many Missourians this question is all too real.
In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we learned that some of the hijackers used fraudulent state-issued identification to board those ill-fated flights. The Real ID Act, passed in 2005, created a national standard for state driver’s licenses and other identification documents. In short, State issued identifications would have to meet certain standards in order to be accepted by the federal government. This would affect anyone entering a government building, military installation or boarding an aircraft. Unfortunately, Missouri’s IDs are still not compliant with this law.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set an October 10, 2018 deadline for Missouri to fully comply with REAL ID or risk Missouri IDs becoming noncompliant with federal government standards. In June of 2017, the Missouri state legislature passed a bill to allow Missouri to fully comply with the Real ID Act and fully align Missouri’s state law with the federal standard. Since then, the Missouri Department of Revenue (MODOR) has been working diligently to transition our state to the Real ID system as quickly as possible. However, MODOR has stated they will not be able to complete the transition before the October 10th deadline. Clearly something must be done to protect the travel rights of Missourians.
I recently sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in support of a request by MODOR to extend the deadline for Missouri until October 2019. This extension will allow MODOR to complete the transition without subjecting Missourians to the burdens of not having Real ID compliant identification. Without this extension, people in Missouri’s Third District and across the state will face the inability to travel outside of Missouri and could incur significant economic losses.
My office has been in constant contact with DHS to ensure they will grant this extension. In the meantime, DHS has stated any state that is deemed not in compliance with the law will receive a grace period until at least January 22, 2019, ensuring the rights of Missourians to travel through the holiday season. DHS has a goal of completing its review of MODOR’s request by the end of this month, and I am hopeful that we will be able to secure an additional extension through 2019, protecting Missourians from the hindrance of noncompliance with the Real ID Act.
Seventeen years ago, our nation was under attack. We watched as planes destroyed the World Trade Center, smashed into the Pentagon, and crashed in Pennsylvania, killing thousands of Americans and crippling families around the country. America was changed forever. Terrorism was no longer a theoretical problem on the other side of the world, but an evil reality on American soil. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives on September 11, 2001, a day we as a nation will never forget.
Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, America has changed the way we protect our homeland. In the wake of the attacks we created the Department of Homeland Security, prioritizing the defense of our nation and our citizens. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created to keep our airports safe, and our armed forces were sent overseas to fight ever-evolving terrorist groups.
Every American was affected by the September 11th attacks in some way, no matter if they were from New York or lived here in Missouri. This year, I was reminded of the lingering tragedies still affecting Americans across the nation, nearly twenty years after the attacks.
FBI Special Agent Melissa Morrow was raised in mid-Missouri and attended the University of Missouri where she graduated Magna Cum Laude before earning her law school juris doctorate in 1994. After graduation, she began a distinguished career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She was assigned to the Washington D.C. Field Office where she worked until 2010.
As a member of the FBI Evidence Response Team in Washington D.C., Melissa served at the Pentagon in the months following the September 11th terrorist attacks. She spent ten weeks at the Pentagon crash site and at an evidence warehouse where she later learned she was exposed to hazardous contaminants.
In 2010, Special Agent Morrow moved back to her home state, serving in the Kansas City Field Office. She earned numerous recognitions and awards for her work in the Kansas City Field Office. Unfortunately, in July 2016, she was diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of glioblastoma brain cancer, attributed to her service at the Pentagon. On March 22, 2018, Special Agent Morrow passed away. I had the honor of attending her funeral in Kansas City where she was honored for her service and dedication to the nation and remembered as a fiercely loyal friend and colleague, with an infectious laugh.
Special Agent Morrow’s death is a sobering reminder of the lasting effects of September 11th. Effects that span the entire nation and touch each and every one of us. As a member of Congress I strive to always support our brave men and women who serve overseas in defense of our nation; they are the best among us and deserve our full and unwavering support. America is a resilient nation, full of brave and proud citizens. As another somber anniversary of September 11th passes, we must honor the lives tragically lost and remember the bravery and heroism of our fellow Americans. We will never forget.Read More
Today the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 6743, the Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act. The legislation, sponsored by Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), will institute a new statutory requirement that all financial institutions notify consumers in the event of a breach involving their personal information. Chairman Luetkemeyer released the following statement:
“Nearly every week we discover new data breaches exposing the personal information of American consumers and today was our opportunity to take action to protect them. I’m disappointed that my friends on the other side of the aisle did not join committee Republicans to elevate the conversation surrounding data security and vote to institute new statutory requirements for all financial firms,” said Chairman Luetkemeyer. “It is going to take better cooperation from all my colleagues and the industries that handle consumer data in order to advance additional meaningful changes. At some point there will be another major breach, and without a comprehensive solution our constituents will pay the price for our inaction.”
Today, the Federal Reserve, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced an important distinction between guidance and rule. In June, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), called on financial regulators to address so-called “regulation by enforcement.” Chairman Luetkemeyer released the following statement applauding today’s announcement:
“I’m very pleased that the federal financial agencies have finally taken the first step in drawing the important distinction between rule and guidance, something I’ve pressed them to do for some time. For too long, regulators have inappropriately used guidance as if it had the full force of a formal rulemaking. We must continue to restore sanity and clarity in the regulatory regime, and move away from regulation by enforcement,” said Chairman Luetkemeyer. “In that spirit, I plan to introduce legislation to mandate that all guidance issued by federal regulatory agencies feature a disclosure stating the guidance has not gone through the formal rulemaking process and does not have the effect of law.”
On the anniversary of Equifax’s reveal of a massive consumer data breach, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, introduced the Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act. Chairman Luetkemeyer released the following statement:
“One year ago today we learned that 145.5 million people had their data exposed by a breach at Equifax, an astounding violation of consumer trust. Data security is a challenging and constantly evolving issue, but consumers across the nation need a robust federal data security standard. I have been working with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to affirm national data security and notification standards apply to all financial institutions,” said Chairman Luetkemeyer. “My bill, the Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act, enhances the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, ensuring customers of financial firms are protected and informed in the event of a breach. The American people deserve better data security standards, and my bill will give financial institution customers the peace of mind they need.”
As outlined in the United States Constitution, the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint judges of the Supreme Court.” In July, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Kennedy’s retirement. This week, Americans saw this process in action as the Senate fulfilled their constitutional responsibility and held confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Since our nation’s founding, nearly seventy Supreme Court Justices have been confirmed by unanimous voice votes. Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy were confirmed unanimously, as deference was given to the President and his nominee. However, as the years have gone on, these bipartisan confirmation votes have, unfortunately, become few and far between. President Obama’s nominee, Justice Elena Kagan was confirmed by a vote of 63-37 and most recently, President Trump’s nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by a vote of 54-45.
Since Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in July, Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have been adamant in support or opposition of the nominee. This fight was on full display during the hearings as protesters consistently interrupted Senators and Judge Kavanaugh. We even saw sitting United States Senators turn to bullying and intimidation tactics in an attempt to stop the hearings. While Judge Kavanaugh remained steadfast throughout his testimony and answers, the hearings, unfortunately, highlighted the devolution of political discourse in our country.
In 2018, confirmations hearings are no longer a chance for the American people to hear more about the nominee’s qualifications, but a chance for Senators to compete for the best sound bite or to ask the most salacious question with national news coverage. Instead of reviewing his record and asking tough but meaningful questions of the person who will likely be our next Supreme Court Justice, we saw grandstanding and fabricated drama by Senators who made their decision before having a single conversation with him.
It is extremely important that we discuss Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s exemplary background and qualifications. Given the highest rating from the American Bar Association, Judge Kavanaugh has taught for more than a decade at the nation’s top two law schools. He was hired at Harvard Law by President Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, Justice Elena Kagan. He has spent twenty-five years as a public servant. Over the course of his career, he has made a point to hire well-qualified female law clerks, supporting diversity in the legal profession. Perhaps most importantly, he has not based his rulings on politics, policy, or the identities of litigants, but on precedent and the Constitution.
In his statement before the Senate, Judge Kavanaugh explained his judicial ideals, “As Justice Kennedy showed us, a judge must be independent, not swayed by public pressure. Our independent Judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic. In our independent Judiciary, the Supreme Court is the last line of defense for the separation of powers, and the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.”
President Trump has nominated an exceptional man with a reverence for the United States Constitution. Judge Brett Kavanaugh will ensure our conservative American values are upheld for years to come. I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Senate will finally put political theater aside and swiftly confirm this qualified nominee.
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, held a roundtable discussion today. Bringing together banking stakeholders, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) officials, and financial regulators to discuss FASB’s Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) rule, Chairman Luetkemeyer released the following statement:
“Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with stakeholders to discuss FASB’s misguided CECL rule. The reality is, financial institutions across the nation have expressed a tremendous amount of concern regarding this rule. We had a very productive conversation today, but our work on this issue is not done,” said Chairman Luetkemeyer. “I will continue to urge FASB to reconsider the rule and urge the regulators to provide clarity on how they will examine for this rule. I also thank my House Financial Services Committee Colleagues Congressman Ted Budd, Congressman Lee Zeldin, and Congressman Bill Huizenga for their leadership on this issue.”
March 16, 2018 was just another Friday for many Americans. We woke up, went to work and looked forward to the weekend ahead. For the White family in Catawissa, Missouri, however, it was the day that the President of the United States signed into law a bill to honor their son’s bravery and heroism in service to our country.
Army Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. grew up in Catawissa with his parents, Jeff and Paula White and his brothers Michael and Kyle. Jeffrey graduated from Pacific High School in 2008 and joined the U.S. Army the following year. After completing basic and advanced training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska before being deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. During his time in the Army, Jeffrey’s bravery and selflessness earned him numerous awards and recognitions including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Only a week before he was scheduled to come home on leave, Jeffrey tragically lost his life on April 3, 2012. He passed away from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device (IED) that detonated near his unit in the Khost province of Afghanistan.
In November of 2016, I introduced legislation to dedicate the Post Office in Pacific as the “Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. Post Office,” in honor of one of Missouri’s own. With the support of my Missouri Congressional colleagues, the House and Senate passed the legislation to honor Jeffrey and on March 16, 2018 President Trump officially signed the bill into law. Last week, it was my honor to join Jeffrey’s family and local officials for the official dedication of the Pacific Post Office in his memory. It was truly humbling to be among the many people there to pay tribute to our local hero. In the face of great sadness, the White family has taught us all a lesson in strength and grace. We sometimes forget that the families of our soldiers also must live their lives knowing their entire world can be turned upside down in a moment and without notice. Their bravery and service, just like Jeffrey’s, is something for which we are all eternally grateful.
Last week’s ceremony was another reminder that freedom is not free, a reality the White family knows far too well. Next time you drive by the Specialist Jeffrey L. White Jr. United States Post Office, please take a second to remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who protect our great nation, especially the third district’s own Jeffrey L. White Jr.Read More
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement in honor of Senator John McCain:
“Today, the world has lost a great American hero. Senator John McCain served our nation for more than half a century, dedicating his life as a distinguished member of the United States Navy and the United States Senate. Please join me in keeping his wife Cindy and his loving family in your thoughts and prayers this evening.”Read More
With only a week until Labor Day, the House of Representatives district work period is quickly coming to a close. This month, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many constituents and business owners across the district to talk about their legislative priorities. This week I met with a variety of groups to hear their stories, and I’d like to share just a few.
I had the opportunity to meet with local leaders in the fight against human trafficking, including St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar, O’Fallon Police chief Roy Joachimstaler, and representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Child Advocacy Center, and Gateway Human Trafficking. They briefed me on the role our local community’s law enforcement and district attorney’s offices play in finding justice for victims. In April, President Trump signed legislation sponsored by fellow Missourian, Congresswoman Ann Wagner which took a huge step in the fight against online sex trafficking. I was proud to cosponsor this important legislation, but we must continue our work to fight these terrible crimes and protect children across the globe.
Congressman Luetkemeyer meets with the Human Trafficking Task Force.
I also toured the Child Advocacy Center in Wentzville, where they provided me with an update on their expansion efforts. It was great to see their build out as they provide a safe child advocacy center serving child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and children who witness violence. We must continue to prioritize these children and ensure they are provided with the opportunity to succeed.
Back in my office, I met with representatives from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Many of us have family members or friends who have suffered from MS, and we’ve seen firsthand just how important innovation and advanced research is to putting an end to the disease. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society are great advocates for patients and their family members. I enjoyed discussing their priorities along with upcoming legislation to support their mission.
Congressman Luetkemeyer meets with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In St. Charles County, I had the opportunity to tour the new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center which will provide a place to house all of the County’s emergency communications functions, allowing for a more coordinated and efficient response during an emergency. The new facility will be critical for constituents in St. Charles County in the event of a natural disaster. It was a pleasure to see the Emergency Operations Center for myself and I am confident it will serve the people of St. Charles County well.
Finally, I had the opportunity to tour the FAA’s TRACON facility, which serves as the primary air-traffic-control facility for St. Louis Lambert International Airport. There are few jobs more stressful than an air-traffic controller, and I’m extremely grateful for the hard working professionals who make sure thousands of people who fly in and out of Missouri each day safely. We discussed future funding concerns, and I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to keep this facility running.
It was an exciting week in Missouri’s third district, and I thank everyone for making the time to discuss your priorities with me!Read More
2440 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.
Blaine, 61, represents the 13 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri. Blaine, a native of St. Elizabeth, Mo., 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, he was also a small businessman, having been in the banking and insurance business. Blaine has also served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri earlier in his career. He was elected in November, 2008, succeeding fellow Republican Kenny Hulshof.
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, Blaine was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to serve as the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.
Building on his experience as a bank examiner, small businessman and community banker, Blaine serves as vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee where he also serves on the House Small Business Subcommittees on Health and Technology and Agriculture, Energy and Trade. Blaine also serves on the House Financial Services Committee where he also serves on the panel’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Committee and is vice chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee.
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. Blaine 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, Trevor, Brandy and Nikki, and four grandchildren.