This week was packed with meetings with constituents, continued discussions on the House’s tax reform proposal, committee work, and votes on the House floor.
As you may remember, earlier this year I introduced legislation that would designate the facility of the United States Postal Service in Pacific as the “Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. Post Office” to honor the life of Jeffrey White, who gave his life in defense of our country in 2012. This week I’m proud to say the legislation was brought to the House floor and passed in overwhelming bipartisan fashion. While the naming of this post office is only a small gesture of thanks compared to the sacrifice Specialist White and his family have made for all of us, it is my sincere hope each time the Whites and individuals in Pacific walk by this building they are reminded of just how grateful and proud we are to call Jeffrey White one of our own.
In addition, several important bills were passed in the House Financial Services Committee this week.
One bill deals with a topic I have discussed at length and that is the elimination of Operation Choke Point. This program was an Obama Administration initiative led by the Department of Justice and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that destroyed legitimate businesses to which the Administration was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses. In August, the Department of Justice informed me they will bring this program to an end. While I am incredibly pleased the Trump Administration made the right decision, it does not mean future administrations will continue to do so. We must have guardrails in place so this program never happens again. After this week, my legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, is one step closer to being signed into law.
The other bill we passed out of committee is my bipartisan legislation, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act. In short, this bill would protect United States citizens from actual risk posed to the financial system. Under the current regulatory framework for the designation of systemically important financial institutions, or SIFIs, risk is determined based solely on size regardless of the bank’s complexity or services provided. This places many unnecessary and extremely costly burdens on some banks that pose no systemic risk at all, which drives up the cost for consumers. My legislation will closely tie the safeguards intended in the designation of a bank holding company with real risk in the system by requiring the Federal Reserve to examine interconnectedness, the extent of readily available substitutes, global-cross jurisdictional activity, and complexity when determining an institutions systemic risk.
If you have any questions about these three pieces of legislation that were passed in the House of Representatives or in the House Financial Services Committee, please do not hesitate to reach out to my offices.
Lastly, on the third Wednesday in October each year, we recognize “Missouri Day.” Native Missourian, Anna Brosius Korn, established this day as a time for us to celebrate the achievements of Missourians and honor the great state that we call home. Happy Missouri Day to everyone!Read More
Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed two pieces of legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer.
The bills that were passed out of committee were H.R. 2706, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act and H.R. 3312, the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act.
“Over the past few years, the House Financial Services Committee has expressed bipartisan support regarding both pieces of legislation that were passed today,” Luetkemeyer said. “The purpose of the legislation is simple - it aims to provide greater transparency and accountability by the government.”
H.R. 2706 dictates that agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, among others, can not request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has valid reason, effectively ending the Obama Administration’s Operation Choke Point.
H.R. 3312 replaces the inflexible $50 billion threshold for designation of a bank holding company as a Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) with a series of well-established standards that more accurately measure systemic risk. In addition, this legislation requires that the Federal Reserve review an institution’s size, interconnectedness, substitutability, global cross-jurisdictional activity, and complexity before determining whether that institution should be subject to the full SIFI regulatory regime.
In addition, there were several provisions of Luetkemeyer’s H.R. 2133, CLEARR Act that were passed in the committee today.
Luetkemeyer is Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee on the House Financial Services Committee.Read More
Today, the House of Representatives passed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) legislation to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service in Pacific as the “Specialist Jeffrey L. White, Jr. Post Office.”
“Today I had the honor of commemorating Specialist White and all he gave to our great country,” Luetkemeyer said. “While the naming of this post office is not nearly enough to honor Jeffrey White nor will it heal the pain felt each and every day by the family he left behind, it is my sincere hope each time the Whites and individuals in Pacific walk by this building, they are reminded of just how grateful and proud we are to call Specialist White one of our own.”
U.S. Army Specialist Jeffrey L. White Jr. grew up in Catawissa and graduated from Pacific High School in 2008. In October 2009, White joined the U.S. Army and graduated from basic training, advanced training and the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, GA. White was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Decision, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK, where he deployed for Afghanistan in December 2011. White passed away on April 3, 2012 from injuries sustained by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his unit in the Khost province of Afghanistan.
White’s awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; Basic Parachutist Badge; Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge; and the Overseas Service Bar.Read More
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would rollback the Obama Administration’s rule to regulate emissions from existing power plants.
“85 percent of Missourians’ electricity is generated by coal combustion. I am incredibly pleased the Trump Administration announced today it will roll back a rule that would eliminate our access to that affordable energy,” Luetkemeyer said. “Not only did this rule kill jobs by shuttering power plants, it was also estimated to cost American consumers approximately $40 billion in new cost each year. It is my hope the Trump Administration will continue rolling back regulations that have made everyday life practically unaffordable for many families and stifled growth in nearly every part of our economy.”Read More
This week, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2018 budget which will serve as the foundation for growing our nation’s economy, reining in the national debt, and setting the stage for tax reform.
This critical vote addresses Washington’s fiscal crisis by balancing the budget in 10 years and creates an outline for Congress to enact real tax reform that will bring substantial growth and jobs to America.
This budget reconciliation legislation gives reconciliation instructions to 11 House committees to achieve at least $203 billion in mandatory savings and reforms. This is the largest mandatory reform package in 20 years and begins to change the culture of excessive spending in Washington. It also includes significant funding to secure the border, bolster our national defense, and increased accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve.
The budget that passed was not the only proposed budget debated on the House floor. Three additional proposals were submitted by House Democrats and received broad Democratic support. Some of the provisions in the Democrat sponsored budgets include raising taxes on the American people by $3.9 trillion, adding a single-payer option to Obamacare, and eliminating spending caps on the federal government. Additionally, the Democrat budgets called for expanding the death tax on families, and providing $500 billion in green jobs for renewable energy. Not only did House Republicans pass a fiscally responsible, pro growth budget, but we successfully defeated the Democrat tax and spend budgets that will bankrupt our country.
The House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Trump Administration have a real opportunity to restore prosperity in our country with tax reform, and we are committed to making that happen. Our country has not come close to reaching its full economic potential in almost 10 years. Now is the time to fix that with pro-growth tax reform this year.
This budget shows America that House Republicans hear their voice and have answered their call – we are committed to advocating for an agenda that puts the American people first.Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after supporting the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution.
“Today’s critical vote addresses Washington’s fiscal crisis by balancing the budget in 10 years and setting the stage for Congress to enact tax reform that will bring economic growth and jobs to America,” Luetkemeyer said. “Passing a budget resolution is an important step in advancing the House of Representative’s policy goals and fulfilling its constitutional responsibility.”
Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution include:
-Using reconciliation, this budget will allow for tax reform
-Balances the budget within 10 years
-Achieves $6.5 trillion in total deficit reduction over 10 years
-Robust funding to support a strong national defense
-Reduces government-wide improper payments by $700 billion
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after questiong the former Equifax CEO and Chairman Richard Smith at the House Financial Services Committee.
“Today, my House Financial Services Committee colleagues and I had the opportunity to question former Equifax CEO Richard Smith. It has been several weeks since the initial data breach and there are still too many unanswered questions. The handling of this massive breach has been completely unacceptable and has left consumers in a lurch. We all deserve information and my colleagues and I will continue to press for answers on when, how, and why this happened. In the meantime, we have to start looking ahead. An average of 13 million Americans are victims of cyber fraud or identity theft each year. We cannot continue to let data breaches be the norm. I am committed to leading the charge on data security legislation that promotes not only a smarter regulatory regime but also a better notification process for consumers.”Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) issued the following statement after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized the short-term lending rule.
“I have heard firsthand from many individuals in the 3rd District who may be losing access to the credit they need because of the CFPB’s rule on small dollar, short-term loans,” Luetkemeyer said. “Many consumers in Missouri and across the country rely on these loans to cover unforeseen expenses. Whether it be auto repairs so someone can get to work or a short-term loan to make payroll, consumers need greater access to credit, not less. Restricting the availability of short-term credit will not solve the financial problems facing so many American families, but, rather, push them towards riskier or unregulated products. I will work with my colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee to hold the CFPB accountable and reverse this final rule that harms consumers across the country.”Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) supported the Pain-Capable Unborn Protection Act which passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 237-189.
“As a society, it is our duty to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and allow them the right to be born,” Luetkemeyer said. “I have been a lifelong supporter of the unborn and I am proud to cosponsor and support today’s legislation that will ban abortions past 20 weeks. I hope the Senate and President Trump act quickly to stand up for the unborn and make this important legislation the law of the land.”
This legislation would ban abortions on unborn children capable of feeling pain 20 weeks after fertilization, with an exception for instances of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake.Read More
Today, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) sent a letter to the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Director regarding oversight polices to ensure the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) programs are conducted as Congress intended.
VERA-VSIP are tools at an agencies disposal for workforce restructuring. VERA enables agencies to provide voluntary early retirement to employees, and VSIP allows agencies to offer further incentive for early retirement in the form of lump-sum payouts. OPM is responsible for the approval of each proposed VERA-VSIP plan and the continued oversight of its implementation.
During a recent House Small Business Committee hearing which examined the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General’s audit of the Fiscal Year 2014 VERA and VSIP program, Vice Chairman Luetkemeyer heard testimony stating OPM failed to conduct diligent oversight of the SBA’s VERA-VSIP program. OPM and SBA’s failure resulted in $2.1 million in wasteful spending with little significant agency restructuring to show for it.
As the letter states, “OPM’s oversight of SBA’s plan was so negligent that they failed to even confirm the accuracy of the information sent to them by SBA.” During the hearing, SBA Chief Operating Officer stated that with real due diligence, OPM should not have approved the plan that SBA presented, given that OPM “made their decision based off of false premises.”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.
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The continuation of yesterday’s markup is now underway. Watch live → https://t.co/17UJil01bZ