Rep. Kelly Releases Annual Report for 2017

“Unified Government, Historic Results”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) released the following report today, to be e-mailed to his constituents throughout the Third Congressional District of Pennsylvania, to serve as a year-end overview of his office’s legislative achievements and constituent relations throughout 2017. *CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.*

Dear Constituent:

As we begin this new year, I would first like to thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in the U.S. House of Representatives, or as I prefer to call it, the People’s House. I also hope you enjoyed a safe and joy-filled Christmas season with family and loved ones.

Last year was undeniably a transformational year for our entire country and government. With a new chief executive in President Donald J. Trump came an entirely new national agenda based on a very different vision from that of his predecessor. First among the president’s many ambitious goals has always been the rejuvenation of our economy so that new family-sustaining jobs can flourish, communities can grow stronger, and Americans can build more prosperous lives for themselves and brighter futures for their children. It is a goal I wholeheartedly share.

For the first time in more than a decade, the nation is once again being led by a unified Republican government in Washington, which has brought a new wave of productivity to both the legislative and executive branches. As of today, the 115th Congress has seen 544 bills passed out of committee (132 more than average) and 478 bills passed by the House (87 more than average, and more than were passed during the first year of any of the last four administrations). A total of 104 bills have been signed by President Trump and enacted into law so far.

This sort of progress has meant good news for America, as each piece of legislation has been authored and advanced with the purpose of making life easier and more secure for every American. Some of the results of this new era are already visible: the entire stock market (Dow, S&P, Nasdaq) is at an all-time high; unemployment is at a 17-year low; consumer confidence is the highest it has been since 2000; and national GDP is on track for three straight quarters of 3% economic growth for the first time in 12 years. According to The Washington Post, “Between January and December of last year, the country added 184,000 manufacturing jobs, the third-most of the presidents for whom data is available after Carter and John Kennedy.”

These figures are worth celebrating, but they are not an excuse for those of us in Washington to rest—far from it. Both Congress and the president have a responsibility to build on the momentum from last year and keep delivering results. While this annual report will exclusively focus on congressional achievements, it is important to note that many of the year’s most historic policy milestones directly came from within the Trump administration. (A comprehensive list of presidential actions on everything from judicial appointments to energy/environmental policy to national security matters can be found here.)

With every new challenge that 2017 brought us, there came even more successes. Week after week, my staff and I worked diligently on every issue to produce the best results for you and your neighbors. The following report is meant to provide you with an overview of the most important legislative business that we conducted on your behalf over the course of last year.

Meeting the Needs of Our Constituents All Year Round

Here is a summary of how our four offices directly assisted and communicated with our constituents throughout 2017. We…

·         Attended 96 constituent outreach meetings with different individuals, groups, schools, hospitals, etc. throughout the Third District;

·         Toured 12 local businesses and factories to meet with employers and employees about issues affecting their industries;

·         Helped 1,642 constituents with navigating the federal bureaucracy;

·         Corresponded with 32,956 constituents in response to 50,215 phone calls, pieces of mail, e-mail, and faxes;

·         Maintained 3 full-time constituent offices throughout the Third District;

·         Hosted 5 tele-town hall meetings to address concerns and answer questions from constituents, including one to assist specifically with Medicare Open Enrollment; each event included an average of 3,612 participants from the Third District (with 18,059 participants overall);

·         Hosted 2 naming dedications at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities;

·         Sent 881 American flags to constituents;

·         Nominated 21 constituents to the elite United States Service Academies, following an extensive application and evaluation process, for the graduating class of 2022;

·         Presented 237 Congressional Commendations to officially recognize constituents for various outstanding public achievements;

·         Assisted hundreds of families with 491 official tours, including 205 tours of the U.S. Capitol; 156 tours of the White House; 110 tours of the U.S. Supreme Court; 20 tours of the Library of Congress; and 48 tours of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts;

·         Expanded my online constituent communication, ending the year with 14,825 fans on Facebook (625 added since last year) and 10,320 followers on Twitter (3,120 added since last year); and

·         Engaged in hundreds of interviews with local, regional, and national newspapers, radio shows, websites, and television programs.

Pro-Growth Tax Reform: Defying the Odds, Making History

“Trust the people.”

That was Ronald Reagan’s prized motto throughout his presidency which, by inspiring him to empower individuals over government, helped the United States revive our economy and win the Cold War. It was also the underlying principle beneath the transformative legislation turned into law last month known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

This new law, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives my full support and signed by President Trump on December 22nd, reformed our nation’s outdated tax code for the first time since 1986. As its name suggests, it cuts taxes on individuals, families, and businesses in the spirit of “trusting the people” to handle more of their own hard-earned money.

Why was it necessary? Because after three decades our 70,000-page tax code had become too long, too complicated, and much too costly for American taxpayers. It was holding back our economy, shrinking paychecks, forcing jobs overseas, and letting other countries take advantage of us. Simply put, the code was broken and the status quo was unacceptable.

Since 2011, my colleagues and I on the House Ways and Means Committee held more than 40 hearings under three different chairmen on how to properly craft tax reform in a way that modernized our tax system, made it fairer and simpler for every citizen, and grew our entire economy in the process.

In order to achieve to these goals, we listened to countless testimonies by dozens of economists, business owners of every shape and size, and, most importantly, everyday hardworking taxpayers. We studied their recommendations and assembled various drafts, blueprints, and frameworks that were vigorously debated. The resulting product was a commonsense bill that was pro-growth, pro-worker, pro-family, and altogether pro-American.

What exactly does this new law do? It lowers tax rates across the board to let you and your family save, spend, or invest more of your own hard-earned money as you see fit. It nearly doubles the standard deduction to let you protect more of your earnings, as well as doubles the Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit. It also fully preserves the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Mortgage Interest Deduction, and the Historic Tax Credit, which will help grow jobs and repair infrastructure in our local communities.

Thanks to the inclusion of bipartisan legislation I previously introduced with Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Angus King (I-ME), the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also creates the first nationwide paid family leave policy in U.S. history. For the next two years, a tax credit will be available to employers who provide paid family and medical leave. I look forward to our original bill, the Strong Families Act (H.R. 3595), being passed and enacted separately so that this important provision can become permanent.

As the co-chairman of the House Small Brewers Caucus, I was also glad to push for the successful inclusion of the bipartisan Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 747), which lowers the federal excise tax for breweries, wineries and distilled spirits producers. With Pennsylvania being ranked the largest craft beer producer of all 50 states, the provision is a win not just for the hundreds of Keystone manufacturers and entrepreneurs in this industry but especially the thousands of workers and livelihoods they are able to support—with more jobs to come!

Perhaps above all, I was enormously proud to help lead the fight within the Ways and Means Committee to make sure that this new law also preserves the Adoption Tax Credit, which ensures that our country’s tax code firmly supports all children, the families who love them, and a strong culture of life.

The president of the National Council For Adoption, Chuck Johnson, had these kind words to say after the Adoption Tax Credit was successfully restored in the bill:

National Council For Adoption thanks the House of Representatives for preserving the adoption tax credit in the Chairman’s markup of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. … We are especially grateful to Congressman Kelly, who has been a true champion for this cause, taking a firm stand for children and families and insisting that the adoption tax credit remain a national priority. With 75,000 children adopted in 2014 by non-relative American parents and thousands more kinship adoptions, we know that the tax credit makes a huge, tangible difference, particularly for children in foster care.

According to Forbes magazine in 2016, the United States was ranked the 23rd best country in the world in which to do business. Frankly, it was an embarrassing distinction for “the land of the free.” The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is already improving our standing by cutting the corporate tax rate – previously the highest in the industrialized world – from 35 to 21 percent, as well as reducing the rate on small businesses to 25 percent, the largest reduction since World War II.

By ending the tax assault on our own economy, American companies will finally be able to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world. Struggling businesses will grow, new ones will form, and good-paying jobs will come home to America where they belong.

In addition to the first major update of our tax code in 31 years and each of the aforementioned provisions, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also includes two major conservative policy victories that not long ago seemed impossible.

First, the law repeals Obamacare’s unpopular and ineffective individual mandate. By eliminating this unfair tax, Americans will no longer be forced to buy government-dictated health insurance they don’t want, don’t need, and oftentimes can’t afford to use. Instead, families will have the freedom to buy a health care plan that is right for them, if they choose. Second, it finally opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) of Alaska and its abundant oil reserves for energy exploration and development. By lifting the drilling ban, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help keep energy affordable for American families and businesses.

The bottom line is this: major tax relief, more take-home pay, a fairer tax code, and a much stronger economy with new family-sustaining jobs for Americans are on the way, and there’s no turning back. In fact, according to the most recent analysis by the non-partisan Tax Foundation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will reduce taxes for average-size middle-income American families by $2,059. That’s major savings!

Of course, as I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, more than 100 U.S. companies have already publicly announced that they are giving their employees new bonuses, more retirement fund cash, and/or increases in pay directly because of this new law. As of right now, companies have spent more than $936 million on bonuses and at least $1.5 billion in new investments in our nation’s economy. More than 1 million workers nationwide (and counting!) will receive these bonuses, with many residing in Pennsylvania’s Third District. (To keep track of the growing list of companies that are positively responding to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, visit this page.)

Everywhere I travel throughout our district, from Butler to Erie, constituents like you have told me that they are sick and tired of a government that overtaxes them and an economy that underperforms for them. They want lower taxes, bigger paychecks, and more job opportunities in their communities. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is an answer to their rightful demands, and now, it’s a law on the books.

Undoing Overregulation, Unleashing Our Economy

In addition to overtaxation, the other Washington-imposed burden halting our economy from realizing its full potential is the overregulation of our private sector. I hear it all the time from businesses of every shape and size. Under the last administration, new regulations reached an all-time high, with more than 20,000 new rules and an increase in total annual costs of $100 billion. However well-intentioned many of these regulations may have been when written, the fact of the matter is that too much red tape has strangled economic growth, killed good jobs, and forced many companies to relocate to other countries. When the federal government encroaches too far beyond its proper bounds and puts various special interests and ideological ambitions first, unintended consequences run amok, freedom recedes, and everyday Americans pay the price.

Fortunately, last year was the year that Washington’s regulatory swamp began to be drained.

Thanks to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress has the ability to override and repeal harmful regulations by federal agencies within 60 legislation days of a rule being issued. Resolutions to overrule these regulations, before being signed by the president, can be passed by a simple majority vote. Since some of the most onerous and unpopular rules by the Obama administration were ordered near the end of his presidency, the CRA proved especially advantageous as Congress was able to implement historic deregulation.

The following is a full list of the CRA resolutions that my colleagues and I passed last year and were then signed by President Trump for what he rightly called “the most far-reaching regulatory reform in American history.”

1.      H.J. Res. 36 to repeal the Bureau of Land Management Venting and Flaring Rule, which would have further capped methane emissions in the oil and gas industry at a time when the industry is already dramatically reducing emissions, potentially wiping out family-owned marginal wells and costing an estimated $1 billion.

2.      H.J. Res. 37 to repeal the Federal Contracts Blacklisting Rule, which would have unjustly blocked many businesses accused of violating labor laws from federal contracts before they’ve even had a chance to defend themselves in court.

3.      H.J. Res. 38 to repeal the Stream Buffer Rule, which would have saddled mines with unnecessary regulations, putting up to 64% of America’s coal reserves off limits and threatening between 40,000 to 70,000 mining jobs.

4.      H.J. Res. 40 to repeal the Social Security Service’s Second Amendment Restrictions, which would have increased scrutiny on up to 4.2 million law-abiding disabled Americans attempting to purchase firearms, potentially depriving people of their constitutional rights without proper due process protections.

5.      H.J. Res. 41 to repeal the SEC Disclosure Rule for Resource Extraction, which would have put an unreasonable compliance burden on publicly traded American energy companies, putting them at a disadvantage to foreign-owned businesses.

6.      H.J. Res. 42 to repeal the Unemployment Insurance Drug Testing Rule, which would have severely restricted states’ ability to limit drug abusers from receiving unemployment benefits even if the drug users are not able and available for work, as the law requires.

7.      H.J. Res. 43 to repeal the Title X Abortion Funding Rule, which would have forced states to administer Title X health funding to abortion providers, even if states want to redirect those funds to community health centers and hospitals that offer more comprehensive coverage.

8.      H.J. Res. 44 to repeal the Bureau of Land Management Planning 2.0 Rule, which would have reduced local authority over large swaths of land out west, massively expanding the federal government’s control over more than 175 million acres of land — about 4,000 times the size of Washington, D.C. — in 11 western states.

9.      H.J. Res. 57 to repeal the Education Accountability Rule, which would have been an unfunded mandate imposing Washington’s standard for how to assess schools on state and local governments.

10.  H.J. Res. 58 to repeal the Teacher Preparation Rule, which would have forced states to use Washington’s standards to determine whether a teacher preparation program is effective, undermining local control over education and potentially exacerbating the shortage of special education teachers. 

11.  H.J. Res. 66 to repeal the State Retirement Plan Rule, which would have treated employees unequally by allowing states to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts.

12.  H.J. Res. 67 to repeal the Local Retirement Plan Rule, which would have treated employees unequally by allowing certain localities to force some workers into second-tier government-run retirement accounts that lack the same protections as private-sector accounts.

13.  H.J. Res. 69 to repeal the National Wildlife Hunting and Fishing Rule, which would have infringed on Alaska’s right to sustainably manage fish and wildlife by overregulating hunting—a move that could set the stage for the federal government to undermine local control across the entire U.S.

14.  H.J. Res. 83 to repeal the OSHA Power Grab Rule. The law explicitly states that employers can only be targeted for failing to keep proper health and safety records within a six-month time period. The rule we repealed would have extended that to a full five years.

15.  S.J. Res. 34 to repeal the FCC Internet Service Provider Rule, which would have put the Internet at risk of regulation, created confusion, and harmed competition without any tangible benefits.

Serving Our Veterans, Honoring Their Service

Defending those who defend us overseas and caring for them when they return is an absolute moral duty. That is why I proudly joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle last summer to pass a major bill known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (S. 1094). This bipartisan legislation will implement extremely important reforms at the VA to ensure that those who have protected our country are themselves protected in every conceivable way. Among these many reforms, it finally makes it easier for the VA Secretary to fire employees for misconduct (such as manipulating wait lists, poor conditions at hospitals, etc.) and encourages whistleblowers to call attention to wrongdoing.

On June 23rd, President Trump signed this bill into law, rightly calling it “one of the largest reforms to the VA in its history.”

Protecting the rights and well-being of our nation's veterans has always been at the forefront of my priorities. They deserve the highest quality medical care and the most efficient delivery of benefits. Unfortunately, in recent years, we've seen the revelation of numerous inefficiencies (and worse) within the VA. Each one is totally unacceptable and intolerable.

Fortunately, the Third District is blessed with two dedicated VA hospitals that serve their patients very well. Sadly, in many other parts of America, there have come heartbreaking stories of so many veterans unfairly struggling with their health care. But with the enactment of this new law, I am hopeful that new means to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct will help make these stories a thing of the past. No longer should we hear of a single veteran suffering because of our government's tangled bureaucracy or systemic neglect.

The VA at large works hard to protect veterans, and with more streamlined processes to handle bad actors, the VA will be stronger in every community.

(You can read much more about the new law and its widespread support here and here.)

Last year I had the very special honor of helping memorialize the service of two distinguished veterans from our district by introducing two bills to name respective federal properties after each of them.

The first piece of legislation was H.R. 609 to designate the VA health care center in Center Township, Butler County, as the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic.”

Sgt. Abraham – who passed away in 2012 – was an awe-inspiring American hero whose entire life personified bravery, selflessness, and resilience, all in service to the United States both abroad and at home. He fought valiantly in World War II, during which he was captured and forced to endure the Bataan Death March. As a prisoner of war for three and a half years, he was beaten, stabbed, and shot, and then survived malaria and starvation until he was eventually rescued by the 6th Rangers. That was only the beginning.

As he entered his later years, into his 80s and 90s, Sgt. Abraham would visit Butler’s VA center every single day to help fellow veterans. His sole purpose in life was to bring a little light into the lives of his fellow American citizens. Overall, he spent more than 40,000 hours of service at that VA center! He could have spent his time doing other things, but he didn’t. Instead he chose to continue to serve, even in his retirement, the nation that he loved so much.

H.R. 609 was co-sponsored by all 18 members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation and was passed by the House of Representatives with unanimous support on February 13th. The Senate passed it soon after and President Trump signed it on March 13th, making it the eighth bill of his presidency to become law.

In late August, I had the incredible joy of serving as keynote speaker at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Abie Abraham VA Health Care Center. It was a beautiful morning that saw countless people come out to celebrate not only the opening of this fantastic new facility for our veterans, but also the legendary Sgt. Abraham. Among the many special guests in attendance was his loving wife Christine.

(You can read much more about Sgt. Abraham at GhostOfBataan.com)

The second piece of legislation was H.R. 2210 to designate the VA community living center in Butler Township, Butler County, as the “Sergeant Joseph George Kusick VA Community Living Center.” This bill was also co-sponsored by the entire Pennsylvania congressional delegation and was unanimously passed by the House on July 17th. President Trump signed it into law on August 16th.

Sgt. Kusick was assigned to the U.S. Army’s Command and Control Detachment of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) during the Vietnam War. On November 8th, 1967, Sgt. Kusick distinguished himself while serving as the radio operator of a Special Forces reconnaissance team on a combat mission deep in hostile territory. Although seriously wounded during an enemy ambush, he refused aid and radioed the forward air controller to advise him of the critical situation. While the team leader led a withdrawal to a landing zone, Sgt. Kusick maintained contact with the controller and requested emergency extraction for the reconnaissance team.

Sgt. Kusick realized the importance of having a radio operator on the ground to direct landings, and so he refused evacuation by the first helicopter. After the second helicopter was shot down, he continued to maintain radio contact in the midst of enemy fire and called for a hoist extraction of the men still remaining on the ground. Sgt. Kusick finally boarded the last helicopter, which was shot down by intense Viet Cong fire and crashed in flames, resulting in the death of this great American hero.

On December 22nd of the same year, Sgt. Kusick was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action. The citation to accompany the award of the Silver Star Medal stated that his “gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”

It is truly fitting that these two facilities in our district will forever honor the service and sacrifices of heroes like Sgt. Abraham and Sgt. Kusick. May they always provide the best care and treatment to their fellow veterans who continue to live among us as our family, friends, and neighbors.

Protecting Presque Isle’s Beaches

In February, I joined Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) in sending a joint bipartisan letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (for Civil Works) to insist that beach nourishment at Presque Isle State Park in Erie remains a high priority project in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) work plan and budget for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 respectively. In May, I sent a follow-up letter to emphasize its urgency

By the end of May, the USACE announced that $1.5 million in federal funds had been secured for sand replenishment on Presque Isle’s beaches.

These beaches are a precious natural resource and a powerful economic driver for our entire region. Stretching along seven miles of Lake Erie’s shoreline, they require proper care and nourishment every single year. I expect the USACE to always recognize the importance of maintaining this treasure and to provide the necessary replenishment that millions of families and tourists – and the jobs they support – depend upon.

Bills Passed

The following is a list of major bills introduced in and (at minimum) passed by the House of Representatives over the past year:

·         The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810), compromise legislation with the Senate which fully funds our Armed Forces and ensures that American troops have the resources required to successfully defend the homeland and achieve their missions abroad. The bill included the largest pay raise for our troops in eight years, as well as my annual amendment to prohibit funding for the Department of Defense for the implementation of the dangerous U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). [Passed by the House on November 14th; Signed into law on December 12th]

·         The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), which would allow law-abiding citizens with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to carry a handgun in any other state that also has concealed carry laws as long as the individual follows the laws of that state. [Passed by the House on December 6th]

·         The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36, also known as “Micah’s Law”), which would ban almost all abortions from being performed beyond the 20th week of a pregnancy, when the unborn child is able to feel pain, with an exception for instances of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake. The U.S. is currently one of only seven countries to permit elective abortion after five months; others include China, North Korea, and Vietnam. [Passed by the House on October 3rd]

·         The Make America Secure and Prosperous Act (H.R. 3354), which combined 12 individual appropriations bills to fund the government and guarantee that proven and effective federal programs can continue serving the American people. The package included commonsense measures to cut wasteful spending, roll back job-killing regulations, enforce pro-life policies, protect Second Amendment rights, and combat crime and illegal immigration, along with other conservative priorities. It also included an amendment I introduced to re-start the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program.  [Passed by the House on September 14th]

·         The Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act (H.R. 3697), which would ensure ensures that criminal alien gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits, such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and temporary protected status. It also includes provisions to detain and remove criminal gang members or those who participate in gang activity. [Passed by the House on September 14th]

·         The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) to combat dangerous “Sanctuary City” policies by withholding federal money from cities that ignore federal law by preventing their police from working with federal authorities to arrest illegal immigrants. [Passed by the House on June 29th]

·         Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004), which would increase penalties for immigrants who commit felonies, get deported, but then illegally return. The bill is named after Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an unlawful immigrant who had previously been deported five times and was convicted of multiple felonies. [Passed by the House on June 29th]

·         The Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs Act) (H.R. 10) to rein-in the Dodd-Frank Act's job-killing complexity and hold both Washington and Wall Street fully accountable. This commonsense and long-needed bill would end taxpayer-funded bailouts, protect consumers, punish bank fraud, and help unleash brand new jobs and economic growth for Main Street America. [Passed by the House on June 8th]

·         The American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), which would repeal and begin replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with a more affordable, choice-filled, patient-centered system. [Passed by the House on May 4th] (I also co-sponsored corrective legislation, H.R. 2192, which was passed that same day to ensure that H.R. 1628 and all its amendments applied equally to members of Congress and our staff.)

·         The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017 (H.R. 7) to prohibit any taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion services. [Passed by the House on January 24th]

·         The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 5), which combined six previously passed reform-minded bills to eliminate overbearing regulations in order to lift unnecessary burdens on hardworking Americans and to promote jobs, innovation, and economic growth. [Passed by the House on January 11th]

·         The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 (H.R. 26), which would curb unnecessary major regulations by the federal bureaucracy by requiring congressional review and approval of each new regulation costing the economy more than $100 million. [Passed by the House on January 5th]

Bills Awaiting Action

Here is a full list of individual bills that I personally introduced in Congress over the last 12 months—almost all of them with bipartisan support—that are currently making their way through the legislative process in the House:

  • The Invent and Manufacture in America Act (H.R. 3068) to create American jobs by making it easier for companies to carry out every stage of the production process, including R&D, domestically. Co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
  • The Public Buildings Renewal Act (H.R. 960) to repair and rebuild America’s public infrastructure such as schools, libraries, courthouses, fire stations, and more. Co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
  • The Working Families Relief Act (H.R. 4867) to help hardworking parents afford quality childcare and early education for their kids. Co-sponsored by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA).
  • The Making Pharmaceutical Markets More Competitive Act (H.R. 2562) to reduce the prices of prescription drugs for patients of all ages. Senate version co-sponsored by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
  • The Faith in Health Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 2310) to help more Americans save money on health care expenses. Co-sponsored by Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN).
  • The Strong Families Act (H.R. 3595) to incentivize employers to voluntarily offer their employees – especially hourly workers – paid parental or medical leave. Co-sponsored by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).
  • The Investing in America: Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act (H.R. 1908) to restore and maintain America’s ports, harbors, and channels without raising taxes or adding even a dime to the deficit. Co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
  • The Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1158) to facilitate the reuse of historic buildings and foster economic development in small and rural communities. Co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
  • The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 173) to repeal the “Cadillac Tax” provision within Obamacare (a 40% excise tax on high-value employer-provided health insurance plans). Co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT).
  • The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 1881) to protect faith-based adoption agencies from unfair government discrimination and ensure that all qualified institutions and individuals can continue to provide adoption and foster care services to families who need them. Senate version sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).
  • The IRA Preservation Act of 2017 (H.R. 4189) to make retirement savings laws easier to understand.
  • The Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act of 2017 (H.R. 4459) to strengthen and protect the integrity of conservation easements by curtailing abusive transactions. Co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA).
  • H.R. 4616 to deliver three years of retroactive relief and one year of prospective relief from the harmful Obamacare employer mandate, paired with a one-year delay of the Cadillac Tax.

* * * * *

As I have said many times before, representing you and your neighbors in the People’s House has been the honor of my lifetime. Any time that my staff in Pennsylvania or in Washington can be of service to you with a federal matter in any specific way, please do not hesitate to contact us via the information and locations listed below.

I look forward to having your back in Congress throughout 2018 and continuing to work closely with President Trump and his administration to make our country greater, stronger, and more prosperous than ever before. As the president said to a joint session of Congress last winter:

Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty, and justice in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world.

May God bless you and the country we love! Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you!

Sincerely,

Mike Kelly

 

BUTLER DISTRICT OFFICE

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Phone: (724) 282-2557

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