Washington, DC – Today Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14), Mike Thompson (D-CA-05), Bradley Byrne (R-AL-01) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) introduced the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act, legislation that would incentivize employers to invest in their employees, giving them the necessary training to close the skill gap that exists between employers’ needs and employees in many industries.
“One the greatest challenges facing workers today is connecting the skills and knowledge they have with the jobs that actually exist. Similarly, small businesses have trouble finding qualified applicants for the jobs of the 21st century. This bill encourages these employers to put resources toward training and educating workers for the jobs that exist now,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Let’s help the backbone of our economy—small businesses—create opportunity for their workers in order to grow.”
The legislation introduced today would create a tax credit for 25% of the first $5,000 that an employer spends on qualified education and training expenses for an employee. These qualified education and training expenses include the cost of programs or trainings to maintain or improve the skills of workers to meet the employer’s needs.
“The nation’s skills gap is significant. Small businesses across the country report being unable to find qualified applicants and CEOs report shortages of workers for skilled, well-paying jobs,” said Rep. Thompson. “This bill would help narrow that gap by encouraging businesses to invest in the education and training of their employees, helping workers expand their skills while earning money and advancing their career and giving employers the skilled workforce they need to build their businesses.”
“As a Congress, we should always be looking for new ways to help Americans gain the skills they need to succeed in today’s 21st Century economy,” said Rep. Byrne. “Training programs are more important than ever before in connecting Americans with high paying jobs and closing the skills gap that is plaguing many industries today. Through this bipartisan legislation, we can make a real impact by encouraging employers to take a direct and active role in job training.”
“Giving seasoned employees the opportunity to learn and build new skills while on the job helps our economy grow,” said Rep. Kilmer. “The federal government can and should be a partner in supporting classes and training offered by companies that can give more stability to their workers and put them in a position to earn more money.”
WASHINGTON—In a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday, the four senior members of the Helsinki Commission – Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), Co-Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Ranking Commissioner Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), and Ranking Commissioner Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20) – urged him to lift the state of emergency that has been in place in Turkey since July 2016 and immediately restore Turkey’s commitment to international standards of due process and judicial independence.
The bipartisan letter, which came just hours after President Erdoğan announced a fifth three-month extension of the country’s state of emergency, was also signed by Helsinki Commissioners Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Sen. Thom Tillis (NC), Rep. Roger Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04), and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). It reads in part:
“We are concerned about your government’s continued actions to undermine human rights and democratic principles in Turkey. The prolonged state of emergency is gravely undermining Turkey’s democratic institutions and the durability of our countries’ longstanding strategic partnership, including more than half a century as NATO allies. Last year, the Turkish people defeated a violent and illegal challenge to their democratic institutions; today, the 15-month-old state of emergency poses a different threat to these same institutions, particularly the judiciary. By facilitating sweeping purges with no evidentiary standards, the state of emergency has upended countless innocent lives and undercuts domestic and international confidence in Turkey’s rule of law…
“As a member of the Council of Europe and participating State of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), your country officially recognizes the rule of law as a cornerstone of democratic governance. Restoring respect for fair judicial treatment would remove a persistent distraction in our bilateral relationship and help to rebuild a principles-based partnership rooted in shared commitments to collective security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
The letter highlighted the cases of American citizens Andrew Brunson, a pastor, and Serkan Gölge, a NASA scientist, both of whom were arrested in Turkey following the coup attempt. As of mid-2017, at least seven additional American citizens were jailed in Turkey. The letter also noted the cases of two detained Turkish employees of the U.S. consulates in Turkey as well as a group of Turkish and international activists—known as the Istanbul 10—who were arrested this summer while holding a routine human rights defenders workshop in Istanbul.
The full text of the letter can be found below:
Dear President Erdoğan,
We are concerned about your government’s continued actions to undermine human rights and democratic principles in Turkey. The prolonged state of emergency is gravely undermining Turkey’s democratic institutions and the durability of our countries’ longstanding strategic partnership, including more than half a century as NATO allies. Last year, the Turkish people defeated a violent and illegal challenge to their democratic institutions; today, the 15-month-old state of emergency poses a different threat to these same institutions, particularly the judiciary. By facilitating sweeping purges with no evidentiary standards, the state of emergency has upended countless innocent lives and undercuts domestic and international confidence in Turkey’s rule of law.
In February, many of us joined over 70 of our colleagues from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to appeal to you for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held without trial for a year on baseless terrorism charges. We continue to be dismayed by your government’s unwillingness to heed our calls for his release and the recent imposition of four additional charges on Mr. Brunson for allegedly conspiring to overthrow your government. These allegations are preposterous. We urge you to recognize them as such, drop all charges against Mr. Brunson, and release him.
Since the failed coup attempt, Turkish authorities have arrested a number of American dual citizens and two long-time Turkish employees at U.S. consulates on terrorism charges. Some of these individuals—including American citizen and NASA scientist Serkan Gölge—have been in jail for more than a year despite the prosecution’s ability to present only circumstantial evidence against them. Our citizens have also been denied the courtesy of U.S. consular assistance that would help them and their families cope with these difficult and confusing circumstances.
It is clear that terrorism charges under the state of emergency are also being manipulated to suppress the activism of a group of human rights defenders arrested in early July. Authorities seized a group of ten Turkish and international activists holding a routine human rights defenders workshop in Istanbul. The group of activists, which has come to be known as the Istanbul 10 and includes Amnesty International’s Turkey Director, Ms. İdil Eser, is charged with “committing crime in the name of a terrorist organization without being a member.” A month earlier, Amnesty International’s Turkey Board Chair, Mr. Taner Kılıç, was arrested on charges of being a member of an alleged terrorist organization. Ms. Eser, Mr. Kılıç, and many of their colleagues remain in pre-trial detention.
We urge you to ensure the timely, transparent, and fair adjudication of the aforementioned cases, lift the state of emergency and immediately restore Turkey’s commitment to international standards of due process and judicial independence.
As a member of the Council of Europe and participating State of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), your country officially recognizes the rule of law as a cornerstone of democratic governance. Restoring respect for fair judicial treatment would remove a persistent distraction in our bilateral relationship and help to rebuild a principles-based partnership rooted in shared commitments to collective security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and CommerceRead More
Washington, DC —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today supported House passage of $36.5 billion in emergency supplemental disaster relief legislation for urgent, short-term, immediate needs related to recovery from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and wildfires in the western United States. The legislation fully funds White House requests and improves accountability by including strong reporting and other oversight requirements. In total (including this legislation), Congress will have provided an additional $51.75B in emergency funding for disaster response and recovery.
“Families and small business owners in Puerto Rico and in Florida, California, Texas and other states are suffering from terrible natural disasters. These needy families facing a true emergency need relief so they can rebuild their lives following unforeseen catastrophe. This legislation provides that relief,” said Rep. Hultgren. “In addition, I urge the House to pursue meaningful flood insurance reform to ensure this program remains available in the future to Americans who need it. We must stand up for taxpayers who deserve responsible management of their hard-earned dollars.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Puerto Rico – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Rep. Hultgren, a member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, has fought hard to reform NFIP so it’s available in the future and protects taxpayers from repeated bailouts, including through letters in local newspapers and hearings on Capitol Hill.
Washington, DC —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) issued the following statement after the Trump Administration last week announced new protections for religious and moral objectors regarding the provision of contraception and abortifacents in employee health care plans:
“I am pleased President Trump and his Administration have reversed the unconstitutional mandate that violated the First Amendment freedoms of Americans and have instead developed a common sense rule that allows and encourages Americans to live out their religious convictions and deeply held beliefs without fear of reprisal or being forced to violate their conscience.
“Freedom to follow one’s conscience, faith and deeply held moral convictions is at the heart of our country’s identity and protected under the Constitution. Americans don’t give up those freedoms when they open a family business or enter the workplace or provide health coverage for their employees. Protecting individual liberty is crucial to ensuring a free society.”
Chairs Release 2017 Annual Report--Announce New Initiatives on Hong Kong & Commemoration of Liu Xiaobo
Chairs announce intention to nominate Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement for the Nobel Peace Prize and introduce legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Liu Xiaobo.
(WASHINGTON, DC)— U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chair and Cochair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), today issued the Commission’s 2017 Annual Report and announced several joint initiatives on Hong Kong and commemoration of the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Chinese political prisoner, Liu Xiaobo. The CECC’s 2017 Annual Report provides detailed analysis on human rights conditions and rule of law developments in China, and offers recommendations on ways to integrate these issues into U.S.-China relations.
The 2017 Annual Report can be found here and on the CECC’s website. A letter transmitting the Annual Report to President Trump includes a summary of the report’s main findings and recommendations. Letter text can be found below.
“The Commission’s 2017 report documents continued deterioration of human rights and the rule of law in China, as President Xi Jinping consolidates power in advance of the 19th Party Congress slated for later this month,” said Senator Rubio. “Chinese authorities are ruthlessly targeting human rights lawyers and advocates; clamping down on foreign NGOs, media outlets and Internet companies; restricting religious freedom particularly in ethnic minority Tibetan and Uyghur areas and forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees to near certain persecution and even death. This year the central authorities further intervened in the affairs of Hong Kong, disqualifying democratically elected legislators and jailing pro-democracy leaders. In the face of this repression, the universal desire for basic human rights persists. This report is dedicated to the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo, whose hopes for the Chinese people, articulated in his essays, poetry and ultimately Charter 08 remain aspirational. As President Trump heads to China next month, he must press China to uphold international human rights norms, respect the rule of law, and adhere to universal standards.”
“At the cost of American jobs and security, the Chinese government has become more repressive domestically, more protectionist in its trade policies, and more assertive globally. The Administration is going through a review of its China policy at the moment, the Annual Report has recommendations that can assist them develop strategies that link American values and interests--it should be required reading at the White House, at the State Department, and by all Members of Congress," said Smith. "Nothing good happens in the dark that is why the Administration should shine a light on the Chinese government’s failures to abide by universal standards, shine a light on the cases of tortured and abused political prisoners, shine a light on China’s unfair trade practices and still coercive population control policies. A freer and more democratic China is a critical U.S. interest, and it should be pursued in tandem with other U.S. diplomatic, economic, political, and security priorities.”
The Chairs announced their intention to work on several joint initiatives during the upcoming year including:
Nomination of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize: The Chairs stated their intention to nominate Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement for the prize, citing their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and protect the autonomy and freedoms guaranteed Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Congressional Commemoration of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo: The Chairs announced bicameral legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Liu Xiaobo and the Chinese Democracy Movement. The CECC also announced its intention to start a “Liu Xiaobo Fellows Program.”
Both Chairs commended the capable and professional work of the CECC’s research staff in producing the Commission’s 16th Annual Report.
The text of the transmittal letter accompanying the 2017 Annual Report can be found below.
October 5, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We transmit to you the 2017 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (the Commission) as required by the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 (Public Law No: 106—286). Under this legislative mandate, the Commission monitors and reports on human rights violations and the development of the rule of law in China, and provides recommendations to address these issues in U.S.-China relations.
The Commission’s structure, consisting of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, Representatives, and senior-level Administration officials, is intended to foster cooperation between the legislative and executive branches, and promote bipartisan attention to critical issues in U.S.-China relations. In the coming year, we hope the Administration can appoint Commissioners from the Departments of State, Labor, and Commerce, as required by the Act.
The Commission’s Annual Report comes out on the eve of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and prior to your upcoming visit to China. The topics covered by our Annual Report remain some of the most contentious issues in bilateral relations and are critically linked to the protection of U.S. national interests.
Over the past several years, the Chinese government has become more protectionist in its trade policies, more authoritarian in domestic politics, increasingly dismissive of international norms and “Western” ideas, and more assertive in expanding its extraterritorial reach globally.
The Commission’s 2017 Annual Report further documents the Chinese government and Communist Party’s continued efforts to silence dissent, criminalize activities of human rights lawyers, control civil society, suppress religious activity, and restrict the operations of foreign media outlets, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) over the past 12 months. The report also provides evidence that Chinese authorities arbitrarily detained and tortured political prisoners, forcibly repatriated North Korean refugees, and continued to implement coercive population control polices, in violation of China’s international obligations.
These issues necessitate high-level engagement from U.S. policymakers and elected officials. As your administration pursues a China policy review, we commend the Annual Report’s findings and policy recommendations to your attention, as we believe they will assist in developing strategies to advance U.S. interests and maintain principled U.S. leadership on issues of human rights and development of the rule of law in the vital Asia-Pacific region.
Based on developments this past year, the report identifies the following key areas that merit the focus of Congress and the Administration in the coming year:
Law as an Instrument of Repression. The Chinese government continues to use the law as an instrument of repression to expand control over Chinese society, while outwardly providing the veneer of a system guided by the rule of law. In the past year, the government moved forward with implementing a series of far-reaching new laws that provided the basis for broader and more severe crackdowns on ethnic minority groups and human rights defenders, censorship of the Internet, and restrictions on foreign NGOs and international businesses that operate in or trade with China. The report recommends that the Administration seek a rules-of-the-road agreement that ensures reciprocal treatment for U.S. institutions, businesses, and nationals operating in China and urges the Administration to coordinate with allies, businesses, and NGOs to develop a unified strategy to respond to China’s unfair industrial policies, digital protectionism, and the PRC Law on the Management of Overseas NGOs’ Activities.
Human Rights Lawyers Viewed as Security Threat. Persistent reports emerged of human rights lawyers and advocates being arbitrarily detained on state security-related charges, for which Chinese law permits officials to enforce de facto incommunicado detention. These rights lawyers and advocates are denied due process rights, tortured in detention, and forced to “confess” to crimes they did not commit. Rights lawyers and their families were subject to constant surveillance and restrictions on their freedom of movement. Pressure on the activities of human rights defenders continues to be an issue of concern. The report recommends that the Administration consider more expansive use of existing U.S. laws, such as the Global Magnitsky Act, to hold accountable Chinese officials complicit in arbitrary detentions, torture, disappearances, and other severe human rights violations. The report also urges the Administration to deny requests for repatriation of Chinese citizens accused of corruption until the Chinese government can demonstrate that it is meeting due process protections consistent with international human rights norms and has ended both torture in detention and all forms of arbitrary detention.
Severe Violations of Religious Freedom. The report notes the Chinese government’s efforts to expand its political influence and control over the activities of religious communities through more restrictive regulations, at both the national and local level, with particularly severe abuses occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Tibetan autonomous areas. Efforts to shutter and harass Protestant Christian “house churches” and the demolition of renowned Tibetan Buddhist institutes of learning, Larung Gar and Yachen Gar, are particularly concerning developments. The report recommends expanded U.S. leadership on international religious freedom through coordinated multilateral efforts and bilateral interactions that stress the strategic and economic value of promoting this fundamental freedom. The report also recommends that the Administration fully implement the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and produce guidelines for U.S.-China counterterrorism dialogues so that the United States does not condone China’s crackdowns on peaceful political dissent or restrictions on the freedoms of religion or expression in ethnic minority areas.
Challenges to Hong Kong’s “High Degree” of Autonomy. The actions of the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong governments during the past reporting year continue to raise concerns about the long-term viability of the “one country, two systems” model. The preemptive intervention of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), and the subsequent disqualification of six democratically elected legislators, raised serious concerns about Hong Kong’s autonomy, its guaranteed freedoms, and the rule of law. In July 2017, the Hong Kong Court of Appeals sentenced Nathan Law, the youngest of the disqualified legislators, along with fellow pro-democracy leaders Joshua Wong and Alex Chow, in connection with their activities during the 2014 pro-democracy protests. The three had already completed community service sentences when the Hong Kong Department of Justice pursued the harsher sentences, raising concerns about the political nature of these prosecutions. Given the important economic interests the United States has in Hong Kong, and China’s international commitments to protect a “high degree of autonomy” in Hong Kong, the Commission recommends that the administration continue to issue annually the report on Hong Kong outlined in Section 301 of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. In addition, the report recommends that the Administration and Congress work together to determine how to protect U.S. interests in Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, including through consideration of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S. 417 and H.R. 3856).
Shining a Light on Political Prisoners. The Annual Report highlights multiple political prisoner cases, including human rights lawyers and rights defenders, citizen journalists, labor and environmental advocates, religious leaders, and advocates for ethnic minority rights, Tibetans, and Uyghurs. The Commission urges Members of Congress and the Administration to consistently and publicly advocate for political prisoners because experience demonstrates that raising individual cases can result in improved treatment, lighter sentences, and in some cases, release from custody. The report recommends that the Administration create a Special Advisor for Political and Religious Prisoners to coordinate prisoner advocacy across the entire U.S. government. The Commission maintains an extensive Political Prisoner Database as a resource, with over 1,400 cases of currently detained political prisoners in China—a staggering but far from exhaustive figure.
Making Human Rights a Strategic Priority. The U.S.-China relationship is marked by both growing interdependency and competition, and the issues covered by the Annual Report are among the most contentious in our bilateral relationship. Principled U.S. leadership is needed to develop a long-term policy approach that challenges China to abide by its international commitments, adhere to universal standards, and embrace the rule of law. In addition to the recommendations made above, the report suggests a focus on reciprocity, internet freedom, human trafficking, digital protectionism, protecting North Korean refugees, and addressing the problem of China’s “missing girls.” It urges the Administration to develop an action plan that will facilitate interagency coordination on human rights and develop coordinated approaches that prepare all agencies to pursue measurable, results-orientated human rights and rule of law outcomes. A freer and more democratic China is a critical U.S. interest and this goal should be pursued in tandem with other U.S. diplomatic, economic, political, and security priorities.
While the Chinese government may not be the responsible global stakeholder envisioned by many proponents of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization 16 years ago, we must not forget that the desire for freedom, justice, and democratic openness are not alien to China or its people. These are universal principles that will further U.S. interests and be the foundation for a more peaceful, prosperous, and better future for the citizens of both China and the U.S.
The Commission and its staff stand ready to assist in any way to carry out the report’s recommendations or further explain its findings.
Marco Rubio Chris Smith
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today pressed former Chair and CEO of Equifax, Richard Smith, who appeared before the Financial Services Committee to defend his company’s handling of a data breach which exposed the sensitive personal information of 143 million American consumers. Rep. Hultgren relayed stories from several of his constituents in the 14th Congressional District who were harmed, and pressed Mr. Smith for answers.
Rep. Hultgren read stories from the following constituents:
Marty from Wauconda, Illinois
“Equifax has jeopardized my private information, which I never gave them. Why should I have to do all of the work to monitor my credit? They should have done it for me or pay me to do all of this signing up and freezing my credit reports. They should pay me for my time. Should someone go to jail for this?”
James from Spring Grove, Illinois
“This company’s careless actions have caused the loss of personal information on a scale never seen before. Not due to some new or sophisticated hacking technique, but because they failed to patch their servers for a known problem. Combined with the careless handling of highly-sensitive personal information, and the likely criminal sales of stocks prior to reporting the breach, their actions went far beyond carelessness to negligence. Legislation should be put forward to increase regulations on these entities, not the decreased legislation that is proposed. Equifax must be held accountable, and liable for all damage caused by their breach. And all credit reporting firms must be held to much higher standards of information security.”
John from Elburn, Illinois
“In the last six months, my private personal information has been lost twice…Home Point Financial claims to have lost Social Security numbers, birth dates and driver’s license numbers. Many of these lost numbers cannot be changed…Is it ethical that a company that loses all my personal data also conveniently owns a service that sells a product…to help protect me from its eventual use? It is time that these companies are held liable and forced to offer lifetime memberships. Please help us, all of us. This is out of control.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today supported passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 36, which outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, the point at which science confirms an unborn child can feel pain. Rep. Hultgren delivered a floor statement in support “Micah’s Law” named after Micah Pickering who was born prematurely at 20 weeks and was able to survive and thrive after spending more than four months in the neonatal intensive care unit. He is now in kindergarten.
Following are Rep. Hultgren’s prepared remarks:
I rise today in support of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
Multiple scientific studies indicate that by 20 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child’s brain and nervous system have developed sufficiently for that child to feel pain.
The United States stands among only a handful of nations that permit elective abortions after 20 weeks.
It should pain us all that we fall into the same camp as North Korea and China.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will moderate our extreme position and ensure we protect the most vulnerable—like Micah Pickering, a lively five-year-old I met last week.
Micah was born prematurely at the same age children would be protected under H.R. 36.
Micah was able to survive and thrive after spending more than four months in the neonatal intensive care unit.
He is now in kindergarten, and I found out when talking to him that we share a love of Legos.
The bottom line is this: 20 weeks is halfway through a pregnancy.
It’s too late to end the life of an unborn baby.
It violates what Americans want, it violates science, and it violates our country’s most enduring values.
I urge passage of Micah’s Law, H.R. 36.
Washington, DC — In the wake of legislation signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner that would allow for the use of taxpayer money to cover an unlimited number of abortions anytime for any reason, members of the Illinois Republican Congressional Delegation voted to advance bipartisan legislation H.R. 36, the Unborn Pain-Capable Child Protection Act, to restrict abortions 20 weeks or more after conception, the point at which unborn fetuses can feel pain.
Representatives Peter Roskam (IL-06), John Shimkus (IL-15), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Mike Bost (IL-12) released the following statement:
“Henry Hyde championed the rights of the unborn through the Hyde Amendment, which expressly prohibits federal funding for abortions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2005 to 2014, the infant mortality rate in the United States dropped 15 percent. Much of this progress can be attributed to technological advancements in medicine that gives children born prematurely and with various medical issues a fighting chance. H.R. 36 protects children like Micah Pickering who was born at 22 weeks and is a thriving toddler today. Read his story here.
“In a reversal of long-standing Illinois policy, Governor Rauner has let down Illinois taxpayers and the unborn by signing H.B. 40. Today, the Illinois delegation stands together in our support of H.R. 36 to protect human life.”
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act (H.R. 36) restricts abortions 20 weeks or more after conception. Specifically, H.R. 36 establishes criminal penalties for any person who performs or attempts an abortion on a fetus after the 20-week mark. In addition, this bill provides exceptions to save the life of the mother and in the case of rape or incest.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that H.R 36 would save roughly 10,000 lives each year. The United States is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortion past 20 weeks (5 months), at which point scientific evidence suggests that the baby is capable of feeling excruciating pain during an abortion procedure. A poll released in January 2017 found that 74 percent of Americans want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester. At the state level, more than a dozen states across the country have enacted 20-week bills.Read More
Washington, DC —U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today released a statement following the release of a unified framework to achieve pro-jobs, pro-families, pro-American, fiscally-responsible tax reform:
“Our current tax system does not reflect our workforce or our economy. It is costly and time consuming for individuals and families, and hurts the ability of Americans businesses to grow and create new jobs. We need real reforms that simplify the tax code, lower taxes on all Americans and their families and stimulate job growth,” said Rep. Hultgren. “I am very encouraged by this significant step toward reforming a tax code that for too long has obstructed economic growth in this country.
“I am particularly pleased that House leadership included the 25 percent rate for small and midsize businesses that I introduced in the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act, which gives the freedom, means and flexibility for these employers to expand and create jobs. I am encouraged that is appears that the hard work of the Municipal Finance Caucus led those working on the tax reform blueprint to leave the federal tax deduction for municipal bonds intact. These bonds are primary method by which state governments and local municipalities finance public capital improvements and infrastructure construction, propelling job creation and economic growth. Tax reform is also an opportunity to expand the use of manufacturing bonds, and I encourage the inclusion of my bipartisan legislation to allow manufacturers to expand their businesses, invest in new equipment and hire more workers.”
Highlights of the tax reform framework include:
Lowers Rates for Individuals and Families
The framework reduces tax brackets for individuals from seven to three – 12%, 25% and 35% – which will simplify tax filing for American families.
Doubles the Standard Deduction and Enhances the Child Tax Credit
The framework nearly doubles the standard deduction so that middle-class families can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. It also significantly increases the Child Tax Credit to offer more help to American families raising children.
Simplifies the Tax Code While Maintaining Important Incentives for Families and the Economy
The framework eliminates a number of itemized deductions and replaces this complex system with a larger standard deduction. However, it also retains tax incentives for work, higher education, retirement security, home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
Repeals the Estate Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
The framework repeals the Estate Tax and substantially simplifies the tax code by repealing the existing individual AMT, both of which require taxpayers to pay a double tax on their income.
Creates a New Lower Tax Rate and Structure for Small Businesses
The framework limits the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25%. Some of these businesses are currently paying nearly 40% in federal taxes, which is especially unsustainable in a high-tax state like Illinois.
To Create Jobs and Promote Competitiveness, Lowers the Corporate Tax Rate
So that America can compete on level playing field, the framework reduces the corporate tax rate to 20% to level the playing field for U.S. businesses competing against foreign competitors who are taxed at a rate similar to the one proposed in the framework.
To Boost the Economy, Allows “Expensing” of Capital Investments
The framework allows businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments for at least five years, allowing employers to grow their enterprises through new equipment, inventory and workers.
Moves to an American Model for Competitiveness
The framework ends the perverse incentive to move both profits and jobs overseas. It recognizes the benefits of a global economy, while encouraging U.S. companies to keep doing business at home.
Brings Profits Back Home
The framework brings home profits by imposing a one-time, low tax rate on wealth that has already accumulated overseas so the tax code no longer discourages U.S. businesses and their subsidiaries from reinvesting foreign profits in the United States.
“I will continue to work with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to tell the story of families, employers and communities in the collar counties of Chicago who could benefit a great deal from many of the proposals in the framework announced today,” said Rep. Hultgren. “And I will keep standing up for the taxpayers in my district who have been burdened by the taxes and rules imposed on them by state and federal governments for too long.”
Washington, DC —Today, President Trump signed into law H.R. 3110, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Financial Services Committee member U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA-43). The bill improves the work of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) by permitting its Independent Member with insurance expertise to continue serving in the position beyond his or her term.
“I am very pleased President Trump has signed my bipartisan legislation into law. Given the several recent natural disasters hitting our country’s shores, it is now extremely important that we have someone with a deep understanding of our insurance markets, and how they interact with our entire financial system, to continue serving as a voting member of FSOC,” said Rep. Hultgren. “The Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act ensures that this key regulatory body is able to benefit from the perspective of a voting member with insurance expertise without any unnecessary lapses. I am pleased the individual currently filling this position, Roy Woodall, has agreed to continue to serve in his role.
“I am encouraged that both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress were able to agree on an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act. I look forward to working with my colleagues on additional, much-needed changes to this law.”
The Financial Stability Oversight Council Insurance Member Continuity Act is a technical correction to the Dodd-Frank Act. Under current law, it is unclear if someone can serve in this position as an acting official once the term of the FSOC independent member with insurance expertise expires. The term of the individual currently serving in this position expires on September 30 of this year. The legislation allows the FSOC independent member with insurance expertise to remain past his or her term for the earlier of either: (1) 18 months, or (2) when a successor is confirmed.
On September 5, 2017, the House voted 407-1 to pass H.R. 3110, followed by the Senate by unanimous consent on September 19.
332 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Born and raised in Illinois, and having spent more than 15 years serving Illinois and its citizens at multiple levels of government, Congressman Randy Hultgren represents the state’s 14th Congressional District. The district is comprised of seven suburban counties including McHenry, Lake, Kendall, Kane, DuPage, DeKalb and Will.
In Washington, Congressman Hultgren has committed himself to working for fiscal sanity, real healthcare reform, and pro-growth policies that will put Americans back to work. In the current 113th Congress, Randy serves on the Financial Services and Space, Science & Technology Committees.
Randy was elected to the DuPage County Board and County Forest Preserve Board in 1994, to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1999, and to the Illinois Senate in 2007. At every level, he has fought for prosperity and free enterprise and for smaller, smarter government.
Randy served on the Financial Institutions Committees in the Illinois House and Senate and is credentialed in FINRA Series 7, 6 and 63. He later became a Vice President at Performance Trust Investment Advisors in Chicago.
Randy was born March 1, 1966 in Park Ridge, Illinois. He graduated from Bethel College in 1988 and later attended Chicago-Kent College of Law, graduating in 1993. He currently resides in Winfield with his wife, Christy, and four children.
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The govt has arbitrarily arrested 850 Baha'is in last 10 years & regularly oppresses them for their beliefs. MORE: https://t.co/WVdnhk6PtD