News from Representative Darin LaHood

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Hello Friend,

I wanted to provide you with an update on recent happenings in Congress and highlights from this spring's District Work Period. Representing you in DC is my focus, so I make it my priority to travel the district when I am home in Central and West-Central Illinois. Check out where I have been and what I am up to in my newsletter below.

Around DC

Holding the IRS Accountable

Today is Tax Day, the deadline for millions of Americans to file their federal income taxes with the IRS. Each and every American should be confident that the personal information they submit is 100% secure, but unfortunately, that isn't the case. From 2014-2015 alone, over 700,000 American taxpayers’ personal information was compromised due to criminal cyber security breaches, and the IRS remains vulnerable to cyber security threats. Last week, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing where I questioned IRS commissioner John Koskinen regarding this report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealing that the IRS failed to implement security measures that the GAO recommended. In addition, this week the House is expected to vote on these six bills to keep the IRS accountable, transparent, and secure. 


 
To view Rep. LaHood's interview on KHQA about the IRS, CLICK here.

Racing to Regulate

The EPA made a proposed change in one of its regulations that would bring non-road vehicles modified to be racecars under the jurisdiction of the Clean Air Act, although Congress specifically excluded these racecars from the statute’s jurisdiction in 1990. This EPA rule would effectively harm manufactures, suppliers, and service shops—and shut down five speedways in the 18th district: Speedway in Jacksonville, Quincy Raceways in Quincy, Mid-State Dragway in East Havana, PMC Race Park in Bartonville, and Peoria Speedway  in Peoria. Watch my questioning in Committee below.


 To view Rep. LaHood chair the Committee Hearing on the EPA's
new Racecar Regulations, CLICK here.

Advancing Free Enterprise

This week I was honored to receive the Thomas Jefferson Award from the International Foodservice Distributors Association based on my voting record demonstrating my commitment to free enterprise on issues such as taxes, free trade, and labor policy.

Honoring the Fallen

Jacksonville faced a tragedy last month. Police officer Scot Fitzgerald passed tragically on Friday, March 4th after being hit by an ambulance as he was responding to a call for medical assistance while on duty. The House of Representatives stood to pay tribute to this fallen policeman. The 32 year old father leaves behind his wife and two young children, a 4-year-old boy and a 4-month-old girl.


 To view Rep. LaHood lead the House in honoring
 fallen Police Officer Fitzgerald, CLICK here.

Women’s History Month

During Women’s History Month, the House passed several measures aimed at celebrating the essential contributions of strong women throughout history, including H.R. 4336 which would allow women who rendered services to the Armed Forces in a civilian capacity during World War II to have their remains interred in Arlington National Cemetery. These women were previously ineligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Around the District

New Philadelphia

Last week, I had the opportunity to tour New Philadelphia in Barry, IL. This National Historical Landmark is being evaluated as a potential National Park. New Philadelphia is the site of a phenomenal part of Illinois and United States history. Frank McWorter purchased freedom for himself and at least fifteen family members, becoming the first African American in our nation to legally register a town. New Philadelphia became a community where formerly enslaved and free-born African Americans lived alongside European Americans in one of the most racially strident eras of our country's history. A public hearing is scheduled for May 11 as part of an ongoing special resources study conducted by the National Park Service. To watch footage of my tour, click HERE or on the video above. 

State Farm Town Hall

I had the privilege to address more than 150 State Farm employees at their corporate headquarters in Bloomington to provide an update on Washington D.C. and answer their questions on current events facing our nation.

We discussed the Labor Department's fiduciary rule released on Wednesday. Dubbed as the Obamacare for the financial industry, this rule reclassifies and expands the scope of individuals that are considered “financial advisers” for purposes of federal regulation. This rule drastically narrows the access that hardworking Americans have to retirement advice. It hurts middle and working class families trying to save for a secure retirement and it penalizes small businesses who want to provide benefits for their employees. 

Congress has taken several steps to thwart the implementation of this rule, and will continue to work to rein in Department of Labor and prevent the Fiduciary Rule from going into effect. 

The World's Largest Tire, and Tire Company

During District Work Period I toured Bridgestone Tire Plant in Bloomington with the management team. The world’s largest tire and rubber company, Bridgestone Americas consists of an international family of enterprises, with more than 50 production facilities and more than 55,000 employees throughout the Americas.

We discussed how to remove current barriers to U.S. exports in order to spark vital job creation and economic growth.  For American companies and workers to succeed in a global economy, the federal government must implement and enforce sound economic and trade policies that allow our companies to remain competitive. Millions of jobs depend on it.

Farming & Trade

I joined Illinois Farm Bureau President, Rich Guebert this past week to highlight the importance of trade for the state of Illinois and the 18th District. Illinois' largest industry is agriculture, with 51% of exports from the 18th District going to trans-pacific partnership countries. That translates to $1.23 billion in Ag sales, supporting 4,168 jobs. I look forward to an open and transparent process to debate the Trans-Pacific Partnership to allow fair trade with the US and 12 additional countries. To learn more, click HERE or on the video below.

2016 Congressional Art Competition

The 2016 Congressional Art Competition submissions are currently showcased in Peoria’s Public Library Downtown. The Congressional Art Competition is an annual opportunity to recognize the artistic talent of the high school students in Central Illinois. The winner of this competition will represent the 18th District of Illinois on the halls of our national capitol for elected officials, dignitaries, visitors, and constituents to enjoy.

The Gallery of art is open to the public at the Peoria Public Library Downtown Branch until April 28th during normal business hours. The winner will be announced on April 25th. I encourage you to drop in and admire the pieces of art!



For updates throughout the week, follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and for resources and assistance, check out my website or call my office.  

Sincerely,

Darin LaHood
Member of Congress

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