CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
Washington, D.C - U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) today joined fellow members of the Republican Study Committee for a press conference to rally the American people against the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget proposal.
The budget resolution, which passed the Senate earlier this month and the House of Representatives today shortly after this press conference, calls for $3.5 trillion of new federal spending. It does not include the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that is likely to become law or the $6.8 trillion already projected to be spent in FY 2021.
The Democrats will now begin the budget reconciliation process where committees will write legislation pursuant to the budget resolution's instructions. If all $3.5 trillion is successfully enacted, the federal government will spend approximately $11.5 trillion in one year alone.
View Representative Kelly's Remarks
"I have ten grandchildren. I can't imagine sitting down with my grandchildren and saying, Grandpa's got an idea: you're going to make about $38,000, and grandma and I think you should go out and spend $68,000."
"We talk in trillions here, we talk in billions here, and we talk in millions here, and the only people back home that I represent that talk in millions are the people hoping to win the Pennsylvania lottery. The rest of them go from paycheck to paycheck. The rest of them look long range."
"What are doing? Funded and unfunded debt right now exceeds $130 trillion. We have become so out of touch with the people that supply every penny and cosign every debt that we do. My question is when do we in Washington start to surely represent the people who had faith and trust and sent us here."
"Why do we think that spending ourselves into oblivion somehow is going to win the next election for us? It's not a matter of who wins the election, it's who puts this country in the right direction."
"My colleagues are not going to vote for something that puts Americans in a position where they'll never see the light of day again. I don't want them to have so much unfunded debt that they can never climb out of it."
"God bless our American citizens. They are on the pit right now and they're being roasted by a party that doesn't care about them."
The unfolding horror in Afghanistan is a sobering reminder of the evil in this world. It is particularly tragic as we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2011. Our Afghan friends who have been fighting side by side with Americans against the Taliban for nearly two decades are once again living under tyranny and the lives of U.S. citizens who remain in the country are at great risk.
It didn't have to be this way. While most Americans, including me, agreed that we needed to withdraw our troops from this war torn nation, it had to be done responsibly. President Biden carried out this mission in a manner that led to the collapse of the Afghan government in a matter of days. He has since blamed everyone but himself, including former President Trump, Afghanistan's political officials, its army, and its people, and has also refused to take questions from the press. He did this as thousands of Americans are still trapped in the country and desperately trying to reach the Kabul airport for evacuation. This is not what leadership looks like.
While we know this situation could have been handled differently and more effectively, let's not lose sight of something really important: Thousands of Americans lost their lives in Afghanistan and tens of thousands more came home with physical and emotional wounds that will never fully heal. Our brave veterans fought valiantly to protect the U.S. homeland from terrorism and to give freedom to Afghans for twenty years. They should be proud of what they did. Even so, some of these heroes are hurting as they grapple with what has happened this week. It is crucial that they know they aren't alone.
If you or a veteran you know is struggling, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a veterans crisis line staffed 24/7 with qualified responders, many of whom are veterans themselves. Visit the Veterans Crisis Line website or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 for assistance.
Our veterans fought for us, and we must always be there for them.Read More
Washington, D.C. - Following President Biden's address to the nation regarding the ongoing catastrophe in Afghanistan, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) released this statement rebuking the president for shifting blame at a time when leadership is desperately needed:
"President Biden's speech did not address the core cause of what's happening in Afghanistan right now. Many Americans, including me, agreed that we needed to withdraw our troops from this war torn nation. The problem is that he carried out the withdrawal irresponsibly and in a manner that led to the collapse of the Afghan government in a matter of days.
"The president blamed everyone but himself for what occurred, including former President Trump, Afghanistan's political officials, its army, and its people. He then refused to take questions from the press. This is not what leadership looks like."
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) issued this statement regarding the ongoing tragedy in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has reportedly taken control of much of the country, including the capital of Kabul:
“The unfolding horror in Afghanistan is a sobering reminder of the evil in this world, particularly now as we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. Our Afghan friends who have been fighting side by side with Americans against the Taliban for nearly two decades are once again living under tyranny and the lives of U.S. citizens who remain in the country are at great risk.
"While the temptation is to debate the failures of our policy regarding the stability of Afghanistan, our highest priority should be the safe evacuation of American citizens and our allies that are in grave danger as the Taliban takeover threatens their very lives. America has always been united any time we’ve faced a crisis or tragedy. That time has come again.”
Washington, D.C. - After the United States Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) released this statement announcing his intent to vote against the bill when it comes to the House of Representatives:
"This one trillion dollar infrastructure bill is more than 2,700 pages. That’s approximately 1,400 more pages than both the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible added together. As our national debt continues rising to an unsustainable level, every American must demand that their representatives put forward plans that provide a positive return for hard-working taxpayers, focus solely on infrastructure, and are paid for.
“There is a real reason to separate the wheat from the chaff as noted in Luke 3:17 from the Bible. This bill has too much chaff, and not enough wheat. It is another example of irresponsible spending that will only add more unsustainable debt on the backs of future generations. I will not be party to any such disregard for the financial well-being of my fellow American citizens and will oppose this bill when it comes to the House.”
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) joined Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) to unveil the Medicare Advantage Quality Payment Relief Act of 2021, legislation to fix an Obamacare benefit calculation that limits incentives for insurers to improve rural Medicare Advantage plans.
"Obamacare was written to benefit urban areas," said Kelly. "Our legislation will ensure that seniors in rural communities like Western Pennsylvania get a fair shake by enhancing incentives for insurers to lower their premiums and increase benefits."
Under current law, insurers who offer Medicare Advantage plans are eligible to receive quality bonus payments that are based on CMS' Star Ratings System. The bonus payments must be used to reduce premiums or add additional benefits and services for beneficiaries.
The ACA established a benchmark calculation that determined how much of the Star Ratings System's quality bonus payments plans are eligible to receive. The formula prioritizes plans that had the most room to improve at the time the ACA was enacted, most of which were in urban communities. Rural Medicare Advantage plans had traditionally performed well under the Star Rating System, and are thus eligible for less funding under the program.
As the gap in quality has closed, the benchmark calculation continues providing urban areas with higher bonus payments, leaving rural seniors with plans that improve more slowly, if at all. The Medicare Advantage Quality Payment Relief Act of 2021 aims to fix this disparity by leveling the playing field.
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced H.R. 4889, the Don't Weaponize the IRS Act, legislation that will prevent the nation's tax collection agency from being used to target Americans because of their political beliefs.
"Americans should be able to donate to causes they believe in without fear of retribution from Washington bureaucrats who have a long, sad history of targeting individuals and organizations because of their political beliefs," said Kelly.
In May 2020, the Trump administration issued a rule that ended the requirement that 501(c)4 organizations report the names and addresses of donors to the IRS on annual tax returns. The rule was implemented to prevent the IRS from revealing donors' private information, which could subject them to harassment by activists. Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin determined that the information is not necessary for tax administration purposes.
Kelly was joined by every republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee to introduce the bill as the House companion to Indiana Senator Mike Braun's S.1777. The Senate version of the legislation is co-sponsored by 48 Republicans including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The United States welcomes more people into the American family annually than any other country in the world. But we insist they come legally. Unfortunately, President Biden's rhetoric told the world that our laws don't matter and anyone who gets to the southern border will be let into the country unless they are Cuban and fleeing Communism.
That's why the Biden border crisis rages on with no end in sight. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last week that in June, 188,829 people were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. That's nearly twice the population of Erie, the largest city in our district. The June figure brings the total number of apprehensions this fiscal year to more than one million people, a problem so dire that 40% of the U.S. Border Patrol has been removed from the border and assigned to emergency intake centers.
This situation has progressively worsened since Biden took office, so why aren't he and Vice President Kamala Harris doing anything to stop it? After all, their policies caused it. They resumed "Catch and Release" and ended President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy.
When I visited Texas in May, the Rio Grande Valley's Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings told me that the current surge was a direct result of the Biden administration's policies. He said the biggest "pull factor" is that there are no consequences for coming to our country illegally or making dubious claims of asylum. Simply put, there are no deterrents to migration or illegal immigration. Biden opened the door, and people are coming in.
Meeting with the Rio Grand Valley's Chief Border Patrol Agent Brian Hastings in May 2021
Not only did the president rescind policies specifically designed to discourage migration, he stopped construction of the border wall. That left several areas of the Rio Grande Valley wide open for illegal immigration. I saw multiple sites where construction workers had simply abandoned projects after Biden's executive order, and others where light fencing had been put up where the wall should be.
President Biden's fence (left) vs. President Trump's wall (right)
We don't have a country if we don't have borders. The Biden administration's border policy has been an abysmal failure. As your voice in our nation's capital, I promise to continue fighting for border security and supporting the men and women of Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies who work tirelessly every day to keep Americans safe.
Communism is the single most destructive political ideology in the history of the world. The evils perpetrated by the former Soviet Union, the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party, the oppressive dictatorship of North Korea, and the poverty-plagued island of Cuba are testaments to this truth. The policies of these murderous regimes have subjected billions of people to misery and death.
That's why Cubans, who have been abused by the Castro regime for decades, are flying American flags as they risk their lives to demand respect for their natural rights. Old Glory and the representative republic she represents are a beacon of liberty and a symbol of hope for freedom-hungry people across the world. From Hong Kong to Havana to Pyongyang, the victims of socialist repression look to the United States of America for support in their fight for freedom, and we must stand with them.
Times like these should remind us that we are infinitely blessed to be citizens of this great nation. The United States is the freest and most prosperous country in world history. Why? In his farewell address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan told us:
"I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as the law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."
President Reagan's articulation of the inverse relationship between government power and human freedom is as pertinent today as it was in 1989, 1776 and the rest of human history.
Our Constitution limits government; Communism deifies government. Liberty and prosperity cannot exist where socialists reign. Please join me in prayer that the people of Cuba and other communist nations escape the totalitarian nightmare under which they have lived for generations, and that this poisonous ideology never governs America.Read More
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) joined members of the House Election Integrity Caucus to announce the introduction the End Zuckerbucks Act, a bill that would ban 501(c)3 organizations from donating to official government elections administrators.
Kelly, alongside Representatives Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Dan Bishop (R- N.C.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Barry Moore (R-Ala.), and Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), held a press conference this morning in the House Triangle to talk about the bill and why it's crucial to improve the integrity of our elections.
Watch Rep. Kelly's Remarks at the Press Conference
"It's not debatable that the American people have lost confidence in the way we elect people. What is debatable, is what are we going to do about it?"
"I don't care if you're Republican, a Democrat, an independent, a libertarian. That's not the issue. The issue is the faith and trust and confidence you have in the way we elect people. If we lose that, then we've lost everything."
"It's not about a party. It's about a process."
"People are questioning for the right reasons why this happened and why nobody's done anything about it going forward."
"No president, no party, should ever go through what this country went through and what all our candidates went through last November third."
During the 2020 election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave $350 million in grants to local boards of elections in 49 states through the left leaning nonprofit organization Center for Tech and Civic Life, 92% of which went to elections boards in areas that lean heavily toward Democrats. The stated purpose of the donations was to help create COVID-safe voting sites, but much of the funding was instead used to increase turnout in these liberal precincts. The purpose of the End Zuckerbucks Act is to prevent Big Tech from putting its thumb on the scales of future U.S. elections.
1707 Longworth HOB
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Mike Kelly was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Butler, Pennsylvania, where he has lived for more than 50 years. After graduating from Butler High School in 1966, Mike attended the University of Notre Dame on a football and academic scholarship. After college, Mike moved back to Butler to work at Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc., a company founded by his father in the early 1950s. Mike took ownership of the dealership in the mid-1990s and expanded its operations to include Hyundai and KIA franchises.
As The Washington Post put it:
Kelly first got the itch to run for Congress in 2009, after the federal government took over General Motors. Kelly Motors has been in his family since his father started the business in 1953. In spring 2009, Kelly said, GM managers reviewed his Chevrolet-and-Cadillac dealership and concluded it was “perfect.”
“Then they went to Washington and they got fired,” Kelly said.
Under the government restructuring, he could sell Chevrolets but not Cadillacs.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Kelly said he told a GM representative. “This is America. You can’t come in and take my business away from me. . . . Every penny we have is wrapped up in here. I’ve got 110 people that rely on me every two weeks to be paid. . . . And you call me up and in five minutes try to wipe out 56 years of a business?”
“‘This is a new General Motors,'” Kelly recalled the man telling him. “‘That’s just the way it is.'”
Kelly went to arbitration and eventually won.
Fueled by his victory, Mike successfully ran for Congress the following year to take the fight to Washington and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Back in Butler, Mike’s auto dealerships currently employ more than 100 people from the region, and are leaders in the local and national automotive industry. Mike has served as Chairman of the Hyundai Eastern Region Dealer Council, Vice Chairman of the Hyundai National Dealer Council, and has sat on the boards of the Chevrolet Dealers Advertising Association of Pittsburgh and the Cadillac Consultants of Western Pennsylvania. Additionally, Mike is a former Secretary and Treasurer of the Hyundai “Hope on Wheels” initiative, which has donated more than $145 million to childhood cancer research institutions nationwide. He continues to work with the organization as a lawmaker.
Prior to entering Congress, Mike served on the Butler City Council and sat on the boards of several local and civic organizations, including the Housing Authority of Butler County, the Redevelopment Authority of Butler County, and the Moraine Trails Council of Boys Scouts of America. In recognition of Mike’s extensive volunteer and charitable work, Catholic Charities awarded him its Mary DeMucci Award. The Mayor of Butler designated October 26, 2001, as “Mike Kelly Day” for his commitment to his hometown.
Dedicated to improving education, Mike founded the Butler Quarterback Club and The Golden Tornado Scholastic Foundation, each of which provides unique and innovative educational programs for students in the Butler Area School District. Mike and his wife, Victoria, a former elementary school teacher, also established the Mary McTighe Kelly Creative Teaching Grant for elementary educators and the Lighthouse Foundation’s One Warm Coat Program, which has helped collect hundreds of winter coats for students in need in the Butler community.
Mike and Victoria have four children and are the proud grandparents of ten wonderful grandchildren. Mike’s family and friends were with him on January 5, 2011, when he was sworn into office as the U.S. Representative of the Third Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Since January 3, 2019, Rep. Kelly has proudly represented Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District.
Mike is constantly honored and humbled to represent the values, interests, and concerns of the 16th District, especially as they relate to his work on the House Ways and Means Committee and his role as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight. He is proud to be considered a leader among his colleagues as he serves as the Republican chairman of the Congressional Korea Caucus, the House Automotive Caucus, the Childhood Cancer Caucus, the House Retirement Security Caucus, the Health Care Innovation Caucus, and the House Small Brewers Caucus. He is also an appointed member on the President’s Export Council.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review refers to Mike as a “no-nonsense, straight-talking Republican” and “a true man of the people.” According to CQ Roll Call, “Any encounter with Kelly has the potential to erupt into a pep rally” thanks to his “gift for enthusiastic – and rapid-fire – communication.” The popular website Breitbart.com calls Mike “a fierce defender of conservatism on Capitol Hill.” Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto calls him “a key player” and “a mover and shaker” in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mike’s rousing speeches on the floor of the House and at Ways and Means committee hearings have together earned more than 3 million views on YouTube. When he delivered the weekly Republican address to the nation right before Christmas 2014 (in which he offered President Obama a lump of coal for Christmas), it quickly became the most watched GOP weekly address of all time.
During his time in the House, Mike has appeared on numerous national television programs, including ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face the Nation, CNN’s The Situation Room, and Fox News’ Hannity, The Kelly File, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox & Friends, and many others. Opinion features written by Mike have been published by The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA TODAY,The Washington Times, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Erie Times-News, RealClearPolitics, National Review Online, The Huffington Post, CNN.com, FoxNews.com, and many other newspapers and websites.
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