News from Representative Smucker

   

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In today's edition, you can read about my efforts to prevent government shutdowns and hold Members of Congress available, watch WGAL's coverage of ways we're fighting the opioid epidemic, and read about a member of our community who visited the White House for President Trump's "Farmers Roundtable."


Preventing Government Shutdowns

The United States Congress is the single greatest deliberative body in the world. Members of Congress represent a diverse set of priorities across the political spectrum. We should have open and transparent discussions about solutions to the problems we face as a nation. We are expected to have those debates. But when it comes to keeping the federal government open, there should be no debate. We cannot allow American taxpayers and federal employees to be held hostage by Congress’ inability to pass funding bills through regular order.

That is why, on Thursday, I sent a letter to the House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black to urge a committee hearing on comprehensive budget process reform. I also cosponsored three bipartisan bills to modernize and reform the federal government, and to hold Congress accountable for failing to perform the basic task of funding the federal government. In the event of a shutdown, Members of Congress should not be paid.

Lastly, I introduced the Government Shutdown Prevention Act – legislation that would provide funding for the federal government at current spending levels if Congress cannot do its job. But this is a last resort, and I will do my part to help prevent that from happening.

These efforts follow my early cosponsorship of bipartisan legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit Congress from spending more money than it receives in taxpayer dollars – forcing the federal government to balance their budget just like millions of Pennsylvania families and the Pennsylvania State Government.

You can learn more about all of these bills here.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

WGAL News Channel 8 is doing a yearlong investigation called “State of Addiction.” It’s in-depth reporting on the horrific opioid epidemic that has swept across Pennsylvania and the nation. I sat down with them during the April district work period to discuss how we can all work together to combat opioid dependence, ensure faster access to treatment, and help reduce the number of overdoses.

For instance, I support fully funding the 21st Century Cures Act – legislation that will provide nearly $1 billion to combat this crisis. But there is no silver bullet. The opioid epidemic requires our full attention, and we must work together to find ways to bring it to a halt.

You can learn more by clicking on the image above, or clicking here.

Promoting Agricultural and Rural Prosperity

(Luke Brubaker, of Brubaker Farms in Mount Joy, attended the “Farmers Roundtable” with President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the White House on Tuesday.)

Agricultural communities across Pennsylvania and the nation have been crushed by onerous regulations that unnecessarily hinder economic growth and concentrate power to unelected bureaucrats in Washington. That is why I am thrilled President Trump signed an executive order this week establishing the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.

I am particularly pleased that this task force will focus on strengthening and expanding educational opportunities in rural communities, and will take into account the unique and diverse circumstances farmers face in today’s 21st century economy. You can learn more about this new task force here

 

Flexibility for Working Families

One of my priorities in Congress is to help reignite the American Dream and provide more opportunities for middle-class families. One way we achieve this is to provide more flexibility for working families. This week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed legislation I cosponsored to do just that.

The Working Families Flexibility Act allows private sector employees to choose what works best for themselves and their families – paid time off or cash wages for any overtime hours worked. Our workforce is constantly transforming to meet the needs of our economy, and we need to ensure we are providing employees the opportunity to better balance their professional and personal obligations.

Whether it’s caring for an aging family member, or a single parent working to meet the needs of their children, employees should have the flexibility they need. I am glad this bill was passed out of committee, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill on the House floor. You can learn more about this important legislation here.

Photo Journal

It was great to see McCaskey High School students at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday! We talked about the importance of education and fiscal responsibility. If you’re planning a trip to D.C., be sure to let me know!

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During the April district work period, I met with representatives from AIPAC. I was glad Rabbi Elazar Green of Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center was part of that group! If you’d like to schedule a meeting with me, you can email me here.

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Last week I visited ArcelorMittal in Coatesville, Chester County. This is the oldest continuously operated steel mill in the U.S. – it’s 207 years old! If you’d like me to visit your business, school, or other organization, you can invite me here.

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It was a pleasure to visit Willow Valley Communities in Willow Street. We had a vigorous discussion about the issues facing our country, and I am glad to have received input and opinions on a wide range of topics.

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QVC has a one million square foot warehouse in Lancaster. I visited the facility last week where they have 1,500 employees. Since opening in 1987, they now distribute 42 percent of all QVC sales. It was great to speak with employees about their work! You can see more photos from my visit here.

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Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

 

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