VIDEO: The GOP House Is Getting Things Done
Lancaster, Pa. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) today released a new video, The GOP House Is Getting Things Done, highlighting accomplishments of the House of Representatives in the first seven months of the 115th Congress.
Click the image to watch the video.
Overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs
On June 23, 2017, President Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act into law. Following passage in the Senate, the House voted 368-55 to pass the bipartisan legislation on June 13, 2017.
This legislation creates a new streamlined and efficient process to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct, while protecting employees’ due process rights, and would provide them the opportunity to appeal the action. It also provides expanded protections for whistleblowers and specifically bars the VA from using removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint or case with the Office of Special Counsel.
You can learn more about the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act here.
2.4 Percent Pay Increase for Our Troops
On July 14, 2017, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act – a bipartisan bill that provides our troops the resources they need in order to help keep our homeland safe. It fully funds a 2.4 percent pay increase for our troops, supports ongoing counterterrorism efforts across the globe, provides backing to our partner forces fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and includes $150 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to help defend against Russian aggression.
The bill also included Rep. Smucker’s bipartisan amendment to expand the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program to any member of the uniformed services. You can learn more about the National Defense Authorization Act here.
Cracking Down on Human Trafficking
On July 12, 2017, the House passed three bipartisan bills to crack down on human trafficking and provide more protections for victims of trafficking.
The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act reauthorizes $130 million to fund the prevention of human trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers.
The Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act ensures the Department of Labor can effectively train its employees to spot the illegal trade of people – and respond quickly when cases are detected.
The Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act expands eligibility for Department of Justice grants to allow law enforcement agencies to qualify for federal funding for the development and execution of programs that fight sex trafficking.
You can learn more about these three bills here.
Holding Iran, North Korea, and Russia Accountable
On August 2, 2017, President Trump signed the bipartisan Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act into law. The House passed the legislation on July 25, and the Senate followed suit on July 27.
Iran is the global leader in state-sponsored terrorism. North Korea continues to develop and test weapons that can reach the United States. Russia claims sovereign nations as its own, conducts cyber-attacks aimed at dismantling democracy, including in the United States, and props up the murderous Assad regime in Syria.
This package of sanctions renews our commitment to our allies and gives the United States the leverage needed to hold these nations accountable for their actions. You can read more about the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act here.
Repealing and Replacing Obamacare
On May 4, 2017, the House passed the American Health Care Act. This legislation would have helped ensure Pennsylvanians have access to the care they need at a price they can afford. It returned regulatory power to the states, where it belongs, so that governors could run state-specific programs instead of a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach.
It ended Obamacare’s costly mandates and provided both a market-driven system that would lower premiums, and tax relief to hardworking Americans to help make health care affordable. The bill also included clear protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
You can learn more about the American Health Care Act here.
On June 8, 2017, the House passed the Financial CHOICE Act which included Rep. Smucker’s amendment to help protect consumer data from cyber-attacks.
When Rep. Smucker graduated from high school, he bought a small construction company from his brother that had just a few employees. When he was ready to grow that business, he didn’t go to Wall Street for a loan – he went to a community bank. They knew him, and provided the capital necessary to expand and create more jobs. There are countless stories of motivated individuals that want to harness the power of free enterprise to build something. In many ways, that’s the American Dream. Unfortunately, in today’s regulatory environment, achieving this can be extraordinarily difficult.
The Financial CHOICE Act will make it easier for community banks to provide capital to entrepreneurs who want to innovate and small business owners who are ready to grow and hire more workers. It ends taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street firms, cuts the deficit by $24 billion, and reins in unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington. You can learn more about theFinancial CHOICE Act here.
Providing Flexibility to Working Families
On May 2, 2017, the House passed the Working Families Flexibility Act to better meet the needs of a modern workforce.
Our workforce is constantly transforming to meet the needs of a 21st century economy, and we need to work to ensure we are providing employees the opportunity to better balance their professional and personal obligations. This bill amends the Fair Labor Standard Act to allow private sector employees to choose what works better for themselves and their family – paid time off or cash wages for any overtime hours worked.
You can learn more about the Working Families Flexibility Act here.
Lowering Health Care Costs for Small Businesses
On March 22, 2017, the House passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act – legislation cosponsored by Rep. Smucker that would make it easier for small businesses to promote a healthy workforce and offer more affordable health care coverage.
Small businesses throughout Pennsylvania and the nation have been hit hard by Obamacare’s mandates, soaring health care costs, and limited choices. This legislation would empower small businesses to band together through association health plans to negotiate lower health insurance costs on behalf of their employees, providing quality care at a lower cost.
You can learn more about the Small Business Health Fairness Act here.
Strengthening Career and Technical Education
On June 22, 2017, the House passed the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to help give Americans the skills they need to compete for in-demand jobs.
Rep. Smucker has his own experience with non-traditional education. He took college courses at night while operating a small construction company during the day. Countless students across Pennsylvania and the nation have similar experiences, and we should make it easier for them to compete in today’s 21st century economy. This legislation will help businesses and schools collaborate to ensure students gain the skills necessary to get family-sustaining jobs.
You can learn more about the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act here.
Providing Regulatory Relief and Reining-In Unelected Bureaucrats
On January 5, 2017, the House passed the REINS Act – legislation that would curb unnecessary, expensive regulations by increasing accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process by requiring Congress to approve all new major regulations expected to cost more than $100 million. You can read more about this legislation here.
Since taking office, President Trump has signed 14 Congressional Review Acts (CRAs) sent to him by Congress. These bills reverse costly Obama-era regulations that hold back economic growth and cost jobs and taxpayer money. You can read about all 14 CRAs here.