As many in our community face historic flooding, Congress is grappling with the best way forward for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the last fifty years, the NFIP is a critical program for many Missourians who live along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Osage Rivers and the Lake of the Ozarks. Unfortunately, the NFIP has faced systemic problems for years, keeping taxpayers on the hook for future losses as Congress provides short-term reauthorizations without much-needed reforms to the program. Facing different regional priorities and major costs, finding a long-term solution to this problem has proven challenging.
As it operates today, the NFIP is over $20 billion in debt and in need of comprehensive reform. House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters has made it a committee priority, but unfortunately her proposals lack real solutions. Chairwoman Waters has proposed forgiving the NFIP’s debt, a short-sighted approach which still leaves American taxpayers on the hook.
This year I introduced five pieces of legislation that will provide modest changes to the NFIP and make a real difference to Americans facing the prospect of flooding. My priorities include protecting American taxpayers by transferring risk off the NFIP books, giving local communities a voice in the mapping process, ensuring premiums reflect the cost of a structure, and providing more choices for homeowners in the NFIP and private marketplace.
First and foremost, Congress must consider the best way to protect American taxpayers from footing the bill for future losses. The NFIP has been in debt for 15 consecutive years and continues to trend in that direction. However, since 2017, FEMA’s has transferred nearly five billion dollars in risk off the backs of American taxpayers and onto the private sector by utilizing reinsurance and capital markets. I’ve introduced legislation to require FEMA to annually shift a portion of the NFIP’s risk to private reinsurance and capital markets in order to protect taxpayers and ensure the success of the NFIP for generations to come. Nearly every private insurance company has a reinsurance policy to protect them in cases of extreme loss, the NFIP should be no different.
Americans across the nation understand that Washington bureaucrats rarely know what’s best for their communities. I introduced the Community Mapping Act to allow local communities to develop flood maps through standardized best practices that represent the realities of their area. In addition, I introduced legislation to protect homeowners by allowing them to test out the private flood insurance market without sacrificing their status in NFIP. These changes could make a huge difference to many of my constituents who have dealt with challenges surrounding NFIP mapping and private flood insurance.
I also introduced a commonsense bill that will ensure homeowners pay their fair share for flood insurance without subsidizing America’s wealthier coastal homeowners. Currently, FEMA does not consider the actual replacement cost of a structure when determining NFIP premiums. Instead, they use a fixed national average for replacement costs, essentially creating a system where low-income policyholders are subsidizing wealthier homeowners. FEMA recently announced they will be adopting a new policy similar to my introduced legislation.
These are just some examples of common-sense reforms I introduced that should be considered as Congress examines the future of the NFIP. As millions of flood-prone homeowners understand, we need stable, long-term funding and much needed changes to improve the program. It is our responsibility in Congress to improve the NFIP and ensure it will survive for years to come. Comprehensive reform of the NFIP is one of my major priorities, and as we look towards the May deadline, I am optimistic about the prospects of bipartisan action.
This week, Washington D.C. was abuzz with visitors from across the country. From school groups to credit unions to farmers, I met with dozens of Missourians to learn more about their missions and discuss their policy priorities.
Missouri is home to nearly 100,000 farms totaling more than 28 million acres of farmland. Contributing $88 billion annually to Missouri’s economy, agriculture is the number one industry in our state and represents the livelihood of nearly half a million Missourians. This week is National Agriculture Week, an opportunity to honor the hardworking men and women who work day in and day out to feed and clothe our communities and our nation.
I joined fellow Missourian, Congressman Sam Graves, in a meeting with the Missouri Agricultural Leadership of Tomorrow. Their group is comprised of members from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, farmers, and agribusiness leaders from around the state. We had a robust discussion about the Farm Bill signed into law by President Trump last year and how tariffs are affecting farmers in our state. I appreciated the engaging questions from all of the attendees and assured them I will continue fighting for our Missouri agriculture industry.
Later in the week, I had the opportunity to address a great group from the Missouri Farm Bureau in Washington D.C. where we were joined by the Republican Whip, Congressman Steve Scalise. The Missouri Farm Bureau has been an invaluable advocate for our Missouri farmers and rural communities.
Another highlight of the week was meeting with the bright young people representing Agriculture Future of America and the Future Farmers of America. We discussed the importance of agriculture literacy and ensuring Americans remember food does not simply appear on grocery store shelves without the hard work of our farmers. We also discussed the importance of agriculture research funding at institutions like Mizzou.
Each and every day Americans across the nation enjoy a safe and abundant food supply made possible by our hardworking farmers, ranchers, and a skilled agricultural workforce. There are serious issues facing our family farmers and ranchers, but this week I was inspired by the amazing young people who are ready to tackle them head on. As your Congressman, I will continue to be a tireless advocate for our agriculture industry, ensuring the next generation of farmers will prosper and promote our heartland values.
Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor the trailblazing women presently in our lives and those who came before. For more than three decades, March has been designated as Women’s History Month, providing an annual reminder of the amazing contributions of women throughout American history.
Nearly a century after women were guaranteed the right to vote, I am honored to serve alongside a historic number of women in Congress. This includes two fellow Missourians, Congresswoman Ann Wagner and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler who are strong advocates for our Missouri values. Congresswoman Wagner has been a champion against human trafficking, sponsoring critical bills signed into law by President Trump. In addition, Congresswoman Hartzler has consistently fought for the unborn and even leads a group to advance pro-life issues in Congress. I admire their dedication to their constituents and loving families, and value their partnership as we continue to fight for the Show Me state in Washington D.C.
Congresswomen Hartzler and Wagner are just two of the countless women who have played a significant role in shaping Missouri. Women like Josephine Baker, an entertainer who gained prominence as an integral figure in the civil rights movement, are the remarkable Americans to whom we pay tribute this month. Born in St. Louis, Josephine became famous for her singing, dancing and acting talents across the country and in Europe, but that is only a small part of her story. While living in Paris she joined the French Resistance during WWII and, after the Allies’ victory, was awarded two medals for her bravery and service. Throughout her storied life Josephine was also a devoted champion of civil rights. She vigorously opposed segregation and was the only woman to speak at the March on Washington alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. She and so many others are an inspiration to all of us.
With two wonderful daughters, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters of my own, it is encouraging to see the amazing contributions women have made to our booming economy. Not only do we have more women serving in Congress than ever before, but women filled 58% of all new jobs created last year. I’m proud to support President Trump’s pro-growth economic policies and I can’t wait to see even more female CEOs, Congresswomen and small business owners continuing to make history and realizing their American dream.
Women from our local communities and across America have played an integral part in the legacy of our great nation and continue to make history each and every day. This Women’s History Month, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to honor and celebrate the amazing mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, grandmothers, and loved ones in your life.Read More
Today, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger testified before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver the CFPB’s semi-annual report to Congress. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, delivered the following opening statement:
Director Kraninger, we’re happy to welcome you for your semi-annual testimony before this Committee and congratulate you as the newly-confirmed Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
The Bureau is a unique entity that, as CFPB Director, with no commission or board over you, you are accountable to no one. To quote your predecessor, Mr. Mulvaney, the director has the kind of absolute power which would “frighten” most of us.
In the past, my Democratic colleagues sang the praises of the CFPB Director’s ability to independently lead the Bureau in its well-intended mission. Today, my colleagues are going to pick apart every single decision you have made or could make as Director, simply because President Trump appointed you.
Transparency and accountability are guiding principles of our American democracy, not the tenets of partisan politics. I trust that in your tenure at the CFPB you will ensure consumers are well protected by prioritizing increased accountability and transparency in the actions of the Bureau and those it oversees.
I congratulate you again on your well-deserved confirmation and look forward to working alongside you as you lead the Bureau to meet its mission.
Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, along with Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), introduced the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Homeland Security Partnerships Act, which would strengthen the partnerships between HBCUs and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“The Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security understand the value of working with HBCUs. This bill will allow us to improve on past progress and provide additional opportunities to participate in federal programs,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “As a HBCU graduate representing Missouri’s third district and my alma mater, Lincoln University, I am proud to join Congressman Bennie Thompson in introducing this legislation to give HBCUs a level playing field when competing for federal grants and ensure students have access to DHS career and scholarship opportunities.”
“For nearly two centuries, HBCUs have provided African Americans the opportunity to compete on a level playing field – and their alumni have contributed immeasurably to the American culture, economy, and government,” Chairman Thompson said. “Since its inception, DHS has realized the value in working with HBCUs – but the partnership is not as robust as it should be. Unfortunately, opportunities for minority students are often subpar. There is a wealth of knowledge and talent at HBCUs and it would undoubtedly be in our interest to ensure this knowledge and talent is utilized in defending the homeland.”
In 2017, President Trump established an initiative to provide equitable opportunities for HBCUs to participate in Federal programs – however, in practice, the partnerships between DHS and HBCUs has fallen short of the Department’s stated priorities.
The HBCUs Homeland Security Partnerships Act would require DHS to issue a goal-based strategy to achieve stronger partnerships with HBCUs – and then monitor and report on that strategy, thereby ensuring the Department’s progress in providing contracting, research and development, and career opportunities to HBCUs and minority-serving institutions.
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) announced details for the 2019 Congressional Art Competition. Each year, the Congressional Art Competition provides an opportunity for high school artists from the third district of Missouri to demonstrate their talents.
“I have been blown away by the immense talent exhibited by local high school artists from across the district,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “Students from our district have submitted diverse artwork over the last few years from drawings, to paintings, to photography depicting everything from symbols of American freedom to famous Missourians to the students themselves. I look forward to seeing this year’s unique submissions!”
All entries must be delivered to Congressman Luetkemeyer’s Jefferson City, Wentzville, or Washington, MO office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23rd with the student release form attached to the back of the artwork. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Jefferson City office at (573) 635-7232.
Background: Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our district. The winning entry from the Third Congressional District will be displayed at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. for one year. The winning student will also receive free airfare to Washington, D.C. this summer to attend a ceremony for the unveiling of the winning artwork. All runners-up will be displayed in Luetkemeyer’s Congressional offices.
Many of us remember the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon that has taught so many children how “just a bill” can become a law: the House of Representatives and Senate pass a bill which then gets sent to the President’s desk where he either signs the bill into law or vetoes it. Thanks to our system of checks and balances, if the bill is vetoed, the legislative branch has the chance to override the Presidential veto with two thirds vote in both the House and Senate, which is extremely rare.
Unfortunately, it appears many of my colleagues need to re-watch that old classic and brush up on their civics lessons. This week the Democrat-controlled House passed H.J.Res. 46, a misguided resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration and obstruct his statutory authority. Even if the bill where to somehow pass in the Senate my colleagues know full well the President will veto the bill which he is his right. And knowing they cannot override that veto, it is clear this is a purely political move.
America is facing a crisis at the border and across the nation. Here in Missouri’s third district, the crisis has tragically hit too close to home. I’ve previously shared the devastating story of Randy Nordman, who lost his life at the hands of Pablo Serrano-Vitorino, an illegal immigrant with a documented history of violent behavior. Last week, I was able to meet Randy’s wife Julie. Listening to her story, I was heartbroken. Many Americans believe securing the border only affects Texans, Californians, and other border states, but Julie’s story exemplifies the impacts on all Americans, including our local communities right here in Missouri.
Originally deported in 2003 after threatening to kill the mother of his three children, Serrano-Vitorino once again illegally crossed our southern border. Even after several encounters with law enforcement in 2014 and 2015 he remained in the U.S. illegally due to weak border security and the immigration policies of the previous administration. Those policies turned a blind eye to the obvious threats of illegal immigration, and it cost the Nordman family Randy’s life. Thankfully we now have a President who is taking action to keep our citizens safe.
As President Trump said to the nation, “This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.” America is facing a crisis at the border and instead of working to protect those who elected us, my colleagues decided to waste time on a purely political resolution this week. The President is right to do everything he can to protect Americans, and I wholeheartedly support his efforts to secure our nation.
Today, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to deliver his semi-annual testimony. House Financial Services Committee Democratic leaders including Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) and Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30) echoed Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) past concerns regarding the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) rule in their questions to Chairman Powell.
“There seems to be a growing concern from more and more, not only bankers, but consumers,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “Back in December, the [National Association of Homebuilders] testified that for every $1,000 worth of increased cost, it costs 100,000 people in this country the opportunity to have a home loan...In my district, I have banks that no longer make home loans because of increased costs.”
Congresswoman Velázquez raised concerns she has “heard from several constituencies who have expressed concern about the impact the CECL methodology could have on lending to consumers and small businesses. They tell me the proposal, while well-intended, could be more procyclical than the current incurred loss method, especially in a downturn.” Specifically, Congresswoman Velazquez asked Chairman Powell about the potential economic impacts of CECL on “mortgages for a segment of our population who is already not participating in capital access, such as low-income borrowers or small businesses.”
Congressman Sherman asked Chairman Powell “I wonder whether you believe that we should make this major accounting change for banks that will deter lending, particularly in economic downturns, without a quantitative impact study?”
In response to multiple CECL questions, Chairman Powell assured members of the Financial Services Committee the Federal Reserve will be watching carefully to see what the actual results are and will take appropriate action if they find there will be harmful effects. “I’m very concerned about this. And as I said, there’s a growing groundswell of concern out there, and I hope you take that into consideration,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer.
Today, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) voted against H.J.Res. 46, a misguided resolution to terminate President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration and obstruct his statutory authority. Congressman Luetkemeyer released the following statement:
“Knowing full well this resolution has no chance of being signed into law, today my Democratic colleagues advanced another futile attempt to obstruct the President’s statutory authority and overturn his national emergency declaration,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “America is facing a crisis at the border and instead of working to protect those who elected us, my colleagues have decided to waste time on a purely political resolution. The President is committed to keeping American citizens safe and I wholeheartedly support his efforts to secure our nation.”
One of the most common questions asked of children is “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Depending on the child and their age, you’ll hear a very different answers from “a princess” to “a doctor” to “a firefighter” to “the President” and even “a farmer.”
In Missouri, we have a booming agricultural economy employing more than 400,000 people across the state and bringing in more than $88 billion dollars a year. Each and every day Americans across the nation enjoy a safe and abundant food supply made possible by our hardworking farmers, ranchers and a skilled agricultural workforce. However, many Americans take it for granted and forget about the millions of people behind the food on their grocery store shelves or the clothes on their back.
Looking to the future, we need bright young people to continue America’s strong agricultural industry. This week is National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week, celebrating the next generation of farmers in our great nation. The Missouri chapter of FFA is 25,920 members strong – and growing!
I’ve met with many FFA groups during my time representing the third district of Missouri, and each time I’m blown away by the dedication of these students. As we all know, there are serious issues facing our family farmers and ranchers, and the young people involved in FFA are ready to tackle them head on. I am incredibly uplifted when I hear about their dedication to agriculture and making agriculture their life’s work.
The students involved in FFA are future biologists, veterinarians, farmers, engineers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs who will be America’s next leaders. I will continue to be a staunch supporter of those involved in FFA to ensure we have an environment that will help them flourish and make certain that American agriculture continues to be the global leader in the future. I hope all of our Missouri FFA members had an enjoyable FFA week, and I’m excited to see the achievements of these students in the future!Read More
Washington, DC 20515
The Congressman from the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Blaine Luetkemeyer is committed to representing the interests of his constituents as 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 where he 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.
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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Today, I declared State of Emergency in response to flooding. We will continue to work closely with our local part… https://t.co/mX4AfMvooj
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