Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, recently spoke on the House floor in support of two pieces of legislation that he introduced. The bills, which passed in a bipartisan fashion, are titled the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act and the International Insurance Standards Act of 2018.
Please click the image below or click HERE to view Congressman Duffy’s remarks in support of the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018 (H.R. 5793).
“I rise in support of H.R. 5793, the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Act. And I want to thank Mr. Cleaver. We have worked together on a number of different pieces of legislation. This is just another example of two like-minded people seeing a problem. This isn't earth-shattering. Earthquakes and lightning aren't happening, but this is a small demonstration project that can modify a program that can have a true impact on people's lives.
“How much we spend to help people is relevant, but how much we spend on federal government programs is not the end all be all. It is the actual success of the program and the money that we spend on leading people out of poverty and dependency into self-sufficiency and opportunities.
“We have to give families the opportunity to pick themselves up so they can find a better job, live in a safe environment, and so they can better provide for their children. H.R. 5793 moves toward those goals by authorizing the H.U.D secretary to carry out a housing choice voucher demonstration program designed to help those receiving housing vouchers to move to lower poverty opportunity areas and help them better their lives.
“This bill would allow H.U.D to implement a plan to regionalize various PHAs in one area to allow for portability and movement to higher opportunity areas. And the gentleman from Michigan mentioned this: we know that low income children whose families moved to lower poverty area have higher earnings as adults. We must eliminate the cycle for poverty that keeps generations of families living within the same areas with limited amount of opportunity.
“By helping people move to better opportunities we’ll increase the chances for them to achieve academic success and reduce intergenerational poverty. And I think as we look around the country we have help wanted signs everywhere- everyone is looking for help- and different regions have different starting wages. So if you live in one area and you might not have as much opportunity or as great of wages, and you don't have the money to go to a different part of town or a different area of your state, you can’t take advantage of a better paying job.
“So what we’re saying is let people go! Give them the voucher and let them move! Let them get that great job! And that mobility that we give them helps them actually start climbing the economic latter and hopefully get off dependence on the federal government.
“It’s a win-win deal. And so again it is a demonstration project, I think it is going to work; I know Mr. Cleaver does; I know that ranking member believes that as well. And again, this is just another sign of parties working together to help people. We don't always agree on everything, but this was again a common sense proposal that can make H.U.D work better and help more people out, and I want to thank both the ranking member and Mr. Cleaver for working so diligently on this effort.”
Please click the image below or click HERE to view Congressman Duffy’s remarks in support of the International Insurance Standards Act of 2018 (H.R. 4537).
“I rise in support of H.R. 4537, the International Insurance Standards Act. I first want to start with thanking the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Heck, for his countless hours and effort that he put in, in a bipartisan effort, crafting this bill that would allow us to get an incredibly wonderful bipartisan vote. On top of that, we have some jurisdictional issues so we had two Chairmen from Texas, Ways and Means and Rules Committee, Chairman Brady and Chairman Sessions, who also worked with us to navigate those jurisdictional issues. And I also want to thank the ranking member, Ms. Waters, for working with both of us, Mr. Heck and myself, to navigate some of the issues that she had with this bill, to allow to us craft a piece of legislation that could get bipartisan support.
“And I know at a time when a lot of people don't think that bipartisanship necessarily happens in this chamber or in this town, because it doesn't make great news, but it happens. And people work and they compromise and they find a pathway forward and I think this is a great example of that. And I want to thank the ranking member for her help in this effort and for her support. Again, it passed out of committee 56-4.
“In essence, you know, what we're doing here is saying, we've had a state-based model in America that's served this country very well for 150 years. We've had a focus on policyholder protection and solvency protection and our insurance industry has been pretty resilient. And we're proud of it. But we also recognize that the world is changing. It's become a far smaller world. We have different standards and different countries and we have to be able to navigate those differences and as Americans we have to be able to engage with the rest of the world.
“And that’s a good thing. But as we engage we also want to make sure we don't sell our state-based American model for some other model and some other country. And if we want to change an insurance model of regulation in America, that’s our job. In this chamber we should not have some executive appointee negotiate a trade deal that undermines our state based model. So that was the vision here of what we are trying to accomplish and in essence we provide parameters to US negotiators that prevent Federal US negotiators from entering into an international insurance agreement unless it is consistent and reflective of the existing US system of insurance regulation. So again it has to be consistent and reflective of our model. ‘
“It creates more transparency in the international insurance negotiation process as US negotiators have to regularly inform Congress as to the state and content of the negotiations that are being undertaken. And it also ensures that our state insurance regulators are closely consulted in the process of the international insurance standard setting. So this is a well-crafted bill that took into concerns that both sides of the isle had.
“And I would just note, as a member of this chamber and I think both sides feel the sway, and whether it’s President Clinton or Bush or Obama or now President Trump, we have a role in this chamber and oftentimes we cede power to the executive. I think it is important for us to exert some authority here to say if we are going to be changing rules you can’t just do it without us and through international negotiations. And I think this is a look to that point that again we have a great model and if we are going to change it we need to be a part of it. We need to be consulted. And with that I want to thank the ranking member and I want to thank Mr. Heck.”
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today released the following statement on after the House passed the 2018 Farm Bill:
“This Farm Bill is a huge win for Wisconsin farmers and will help them remain the best in the world. It creates the Dairy Risk Management Program, which provides higher coverage levels and lower premiums for the first 5 million pounds of milk. It also provides additional risk-management options for dairy farmers by allowing them to enroll in both the Dairy Risk Management Program and the Livestock Gross Margin Program. These changes will help our dairy farmers better manage their risk during times of low milk prices.
“Additionally, right now in America, there are more jobs available than people looking for work, and there has never been a better opportunity to find a job. That’s why this Farm Bill included the critical reform that requires more people to strive for the American Dream with commonsense work requirements for work-capable adults.”
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, revealed the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition and People’s Choice Award at the Center for the Visual Arts in Wausau. The artwork will be displayed in several locations: Congressman Duffy’s district offices in Wisconsin, his Washington DC office, or in the US Capitol.
Here are a few photos from the event that are available for your use.
Click HERE or the photo below for link on Instagram. The actual artwork links can be found on Facebook by clicking the respective images.
Congressman Duffy with four of the winners.
From left to right: Anna Albert, Tomahawk High School; Dana Herron, Mosinee High School; Zoe Botes, Mercer School; Dallas Dosch, Tomahawk High School. (Not Pictured, Grand Prize Winner Mai Ger Vang, Wausau East High School)
Grand Prize Winner
Artist: Mai Ver Gang, Grade 12
School: Wausau East
Placement: U.S. Capitol
Second Place Winner
Artist: Dana Herron, Grade 12
School: Mosinee High School
Placement: Congressman Duffy’s Wausau Office
Third Place Winner
Artist: Dallas Dosch, Grade 9
School: Tomahawk High School
Title: Winter Lights
Placement: Congressman Duffy’s Hudson office
Fourth Place Winner
Artist: Anna Albert
School: Tomahawk High School
Title: Merrill Courthouse
Placement: Congressman Duffy’s Hayward office
People’s Choice Award Winner
Artist: Zoe Botes, Grade 10
School: Mercer School
Title: Quiet Winter Woods
Placement: Congressman Duffy’s DC office
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today released the following statement on President Trump signing the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 into law:
“Patients across America, like Wisconsinite Trickett Wendler, have suffered because potentially life-saving drugs are stuck in clinical trials, out of reach. A patient facing a life-threatening condition shouldn't be denied a 'right to try' a potential treatment because of government red tape. I’m proud to have supported this live-saving legislation in the House and commend Representative Pat Snyder in the Wisconsin State Assembly, as well as Senator Ron Johnson for getting this legislation across the finish line.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday May 16, 2018
Duffy Co-Introduces Housing Voucher Mobility Legislation
Bipartisan legislation aimed at alleviating poverty
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today co-introduced the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018 with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). The legislation would authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to carry out a housing choice voucher mobility demonstration to encourage families receiving such voucher assistance to move to lower-poverty areas and expand access to opportunity areas.
“A major contributor to the generational cycle of poverty is the lack of employment opportunity, and this bipartisan legislation will help people relocate to areas with more opportunities and greater economic freedom,” said Congressman Duffy. “I’d like to thank Emanuel Cleaver for working with me to address poverty head on by reforming voucher assistance.”
For a copy of the bill, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Duffy Calls On Trump Administration To Continue Fighting For Wisconsin Dairy In NAFTA Renegotiations
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking the Trump administration to continue to fight for Wisconsin dairy farmers as trade talks between the United States, Canada, and Mexico progress.
Full letter below.
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,
We write to you concerning the ongoing negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to express our concerns with Canada’s Class 7 program. During the ongoing NAFTA modernization negotiations, it is critical that the Administration achieves its established goals of eliminating Canada’s trade- distorting Class 7 program and dairy tariff walls.
As you may know, America’s 40,000 dairy farmers and the nearly 3 million workers whose jobs are tied to dairy product manufacturing are counting on the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to deliver in these key areas, which would spur U.S. exports and therefore help contribute to favorable gains in the U.S. trade balance in the NAFTA markets. Now when the farmer and rancher community is experiencing deeply depressed farm income levels, improving export prospects is even more critical.
This Administration, with strong support from Congress, has rightfully condemned Canada’s actions on dairy trade over the past year. While Canada is one of our strongest allies and trading partners, its approach to dairy policy has been one that for far too long has used various policy tools to impact trade in ways that directly harm our dairy industry. The clearest and most recent example of that pattern of abuse has been Canada’s Class 7 pricing program. This latest move, which was put in place a little more than a year ago, has already led to a tripling of Canadian skim milk powder exports being essentially dumped onto world markets and eliminated U.S. exports of certain dairy products to Canada.
Dairy trade concerns have been a top agriculture trade priority since the very outset of the NAFTA 2.0 negotiation process and remain an essential element of a positive result. It is imperative that we do not lose this opportunity to tackle these problems. We appreciate the Administration’s strong advocacy on behalf of the domestic dairy industry to address the Class 7 pricing abuses during the NAFTA modernization negotiations. Given the urgency of this issue, we strongly encourage you to help put an end to Canada’s Class 7 pricing program and to extend to our dairy companies the same open market access opportunities to Canada that the vast majority of other industries in the U. S. already enjoy. These results are critical to securing a modernized NAFTA worthy of Congressional support that addresses today’s top trade concerns with our NAFTA partners and fills gaps in the existing agreement.
We greatly appreciate your ongoing support of our nation’s farmers and producers during ongoing NAFTA negotiations. Thank you for your consideration and attention to this important matter.
For a PDF of the letter, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday April 25, 2018
Rural Relief Members Lay Out Priorities To Combat Opioid Crisis
Rural “constituents are often hit the hardest by opioid abuse and addiction”
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today with nine other members of the Rural Relief Initiative, sent a letter to House Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, urging him to consider specific policy solutions to the opioid crisis in rural America.
Read the letter below.
We write to support your efforts to address the alarming and outstanding needs of rural communities in the wake of a growing opioid crisis in the United States. We thank you and commend your tremendous work investigating strategies and best practices for combatting opioid abuse. As you continue to explore legislative solutions in the coming months, we ask that you please keep our support for the unique needs of rural communities in mind.
As you may know, the signatories to this letter represent members of the House Rural Relief Initiative, which was launched in October 2017 to shed light on and advocate for the struggling Americans in our nation’s rural communities. Our membership consists of leaders representing diverse rural constituencies across the United States, from Maine to California, and Texas to Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, that means our constituents are often hit the hardest by opioid abuse and addiction. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October 2017, the rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, USDA Economic Research Service, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and many others have all reported similar trends. One particularly alarming study found that as many as 74 percent of farmers have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis.
With this in mind, we believe it is of paramount importance to give special consideration to rural Americans. We understand that you have identified a range of priorities that will effect positive change in our communities, several of which could greatly increase resources for rural communities:
· Ensuring equitable distribution of resources to address the opioid epidemic in rural populations, including tribal communities (Tribal Addiction and Recovery Act, Improving Access to Remote Behavioral Health Treatment Act, Use of Telehealth to Treat Opioid Use Disorder, Federal Opioid Response Fairness Act);
· Requiring the Drug Enforcement Agency to modernize its controlled substance analogue policies to address synthetics loopholes (SITSA Act, SOFA Act, Synthetic Drug Awareness Act);
· Providing comprehensive addiction and recovery services to directly address rural workforce shortages (Limited repeal of the IMD exclusion for adult Medicaid Beneficiaries with substance abuse disorder);
· Improving ways to safely dispose of controlled substances, both inside and outside the healthcare setting (FDA packaging and disposal, Safe Disposal and Unused Medication Act);
· Combatting overprescribing in rural America through updated prescription guidelines and best practices for prescription drug monitoring programs (Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act; Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act); and
· Addressing family addiction to end generational drug use, which can lead to high rates of foster care admissions.
While no single policy will completely solve this crisis, the above proposals could have significant impact on reducing rural opioid abuse. Rural communities require more resources and different approaches than urban and suburban communities, and it’s time that our laws reflect this reality.
Thank you for your consideration, and for your strong commitment to combatting the opioid crisis. We look forward to working with you to guarantee that rural communities receive the attention and resources they need during these difficult times.
For a PDF of the letter with signatures from nine other members of the Rural Relief Initiative, click HERE.
To learn more about the Rural Relief Initiative, please click HERE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday April 24, 2018
Duffy Asks President Trump To Stand Up To France, Germany, Others On Pharmaceutical Free Riding
Foreign trading partners put unfair burden on American patients & economy
Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, today sent a letter to President Trump requesting that his Administration addresses “free riding” by our trading partners on American innovative pharmaceuticals. The letter was also signed by 26 other members of Congress.
Read the letter below.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to express my strong concerns in regard to the “free riding” of our trading partners on U.S. innovative pharmaceuticals. Among these issues include foreign government price controls, market access barriers, and intellectual property (IP) theft. Developed countries like Germany, France, Japan, and Australia consistently undermine American companies through longstanding, impermissible practices that place an unfair burden on U.S. patients, cost our economy jobs, and rob us of new treatments and cures.
“Free riding” creates a difficult choice for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Innovative companies can either accept a very low reimbursement rate for cutting-edge medicines (which then ripples through the rest of the global pricing system, as developing nations peg their own reimbursements to Europe, Japan, Korea or Australia), or face the very real threat of a compulsory license. Once the drug has lost its patent, generic companies move into these countries and undercut in price the original innovative drug.
Perhaps the most effective way to prevent free riding is through trade enforcement and strong trade disciplines in our new free trade agreements (FTAs). You have already shown tremendous leadership on trade, demonstrating through the renegotiated U.S. Korea FTA (KORUS) that strong trade policy can create a level playing field for U.S. innovators. By negotiating with Korean officials to provide full access to the government reimbursement system previously reserved for Korean companies, U.S. innovators can now compete fairly in the Korean market, enabling them to invest more in R&D and jobs here in the U.S.
Over the past few months, a number of U.S. companies have met with Commerce Secretary Ross, USTR Lighthizer, and other members of your senior staff to discuss similar solutions to the free-riding issue. Foreign systems are frequently government-controlled, over-regulated, and contrary to international conventions like the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) GATT and TRIPS Agreements, as well as numerous bilateral obligations. This requires a strong U.S. government response.
Ongoing trade talks with Canada and Mexico related to NAFTA and use of trade tools like Special 301 and Section 301 can hold the worst actors accountable (Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board is one of the worst government price control bodies among developed economies). These opportunities can serve as a vehicle for aggressive Administrative action to eliminate practices that undervalue U.S. innovation.
Most notably, Canada continues to propose and implement pricing and reimbursement policies that do not value innovation, leaving the U.S. to shoulder a disproportionate burden of global R&D. Canada is currently proposing to remove the U.S. and Switzerland from the basket of comparator countries for price determinations using international reference pricing, while also considering disclosure of confidential rebates that do not justify the intended policy objective. The U.S. government should begin to address the free-riding issue in Canada via a two-pronged approach, and then branch out to the EU and other countries:
As you’ve noted in the past, the free-riding issue is an ongoing drain on the U.S. innovation economy, threatening thousands of high-paying jobs across the country. I extend my congratulations to you and Ambassador Lighthizer on your handling of the KORUS renegotiations, and stand ready to support your efforts to negotiate fair trade agreements for the United States. More wins like KORUS can help us bring an end to this vexing issue.
For a PDF of the letter with signatures from over two-dozen GOP Members of Congress, click HERE.
Hope your Monday is going well. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to get you caught up on some events in Wisconsin as well as the latest in Washington.
Academy Day Is This Saturday!
Hey, Wisconsin high school students: are you interested in a great education while serving your country? On Saturday, April 21st, I will be hosting Academy Day at Wausau West High School from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. There will be representatives from all five military branches representing their respective academies. Admission is free, and parents and teachers are welcome to attend.
Planning A Trip?
With Spring and Summer on the way (well, you wouldn't know it with all this snow!), it's getting close to that time to organize your travel plans. If you’re visiting our Nation's Capital, please contact my Washington DC office to schedule a tour of the US Capitol! Tour requests can be handled through my website HERE. As always, call 202-225-3365 if you have any questions regarding your tour.
Tax Reform Is Working
We have seen across America that to millions of workers, Tax Reform means...
✔️ Financial Stability.
I recently chatted with Fox News' Sandra Smith about how Tax Reform is helping Americans get better jobs with better pay. Click HERE or the image below to watch part of the interview!
Attention Wisconsin vets! Sean Lybert, our Hudson office's Veterans Outreach Specialist, is available Monday, April 23rd at Cafe Next Door. Stop on by and chat! And please let your fellow Veterans know about this event by sharing the photo on Facebook HERE or by clicking the photo below.
Until next week!
1208 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Sean Duffy was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. His great, great grandfather was one of the state’s early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of Hayward’s founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years.
Congressman Duffy has never strayed far from his roots, becoming a nationally recognized professional lumberjack athlete. He is a two-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb, three-time champion in the 60-foot and an accomplished log-roller. Sean has been a color commentator for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, as well as a Badger State Games Honorary Athlete and takes pride in bringing national attention to a sport with vital roots in Wisconsin’s proud history.
The tenth of eleven siblings, Congressman Duffy worked his way through law school by performing in lumberjack shows and exhibitions across the state of Wisconsin and around the country. After graduating from law school he practiced law for two years in Hayward before becoming a special prosecutor in Ashland, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter, he became the acting assistant D.A, and later the District Attorney of Ashland County. He is most proud of his dedication to prosecuting child sex crimes. Working together with law enforcement, Congressman Duffy helped make Ashland County one of the first counties in the state to investigate and prosecute child Internet sex crimes.
Congressman Duffy met his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, an Arizona native, through the MTV show, “The Real World,” Together, they are the proud parents of six children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, and MariaVictoria.
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At 8:10 this morning on WISN: Congressman Sean Duffy on how to beat Tammy Baldwin up in Trump country. I'll also as… https://t.co/Jjtx7XwDR6
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