News from Representative Rouzer

   

Dear Friends,

Since the new Congress has been sworn in, we’ve been busy working to repeal as many of the harmful Obama-era regulations through the use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) as possible.  Under the CRA law, Congress is able to vote to nullify regulations that were issued during the final 90 legislative days of the Obama Administration.  (This basically enables us to nullify regulations that were implemented going back to May 2016.)  CRA’s are one of two legislative vehicles that are not subject to the Senate filibuster requiring 60 votes to end debate.  The other is Budget Reconciliation which I discuss in much more detail below.  

With President Donald J. Trump in the White House, a Republican majority in the House and 52 Republicans in the U.S. Senate, we have been able to pass a number of CRA's reversing the harmful impacts of the regulations — and we will continue to do so.  So far we have been able to repeal burdensome regulations relating to energy, big government, education and more that are hampering our economy, limiting Americans’ rights and costing jobs and taxpayer dollars. 

For a list of updated CRA’s, please click here.

UPDATE ON OBAMACARE

As you know, the House of Representatives fell short several weeks ago of getting the 216 votes necessary to repeal and replace as much of Obamacare as allowable under the rules of Budget Reconciliation — a privileged vehicle that has caused much confusion over the past two months.  I use the term “privileged” because it is one of only two legislative vehicles that allows you to bypass a filibuster in the U.S. Senate.  Senate precedent requires 60 votes to end a filibuster.  Using Budget Reconciliation you can bypass this requirement allowing it to be subject to only a simple 51 vote majority for passage.  The exchange is this: the rules of Budget Reconciliation do not allow you to include a provision that is not deemed to have a direct impact on revenues and expenditures of the U.S. Treasury. 

A full repeal of every word of Obamacare requires 60 votes.  There are 52 Republicans.  This obviously means that Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the Senate, must find 8 Democrats to vote to repeal every word of Obamacare and replace it. That’s not going to happen.  The Democrat grassroots base in this country is simply not going to allow that to happen.  

The House Republican replacement plan, titled the American Health Care Act, would put Medicaid on a budget for the first time ever, saving our country trillions of taxpayer dollars over the long-term.  As you may know, Medicaid is a major driver of our federal debt — and, for that reason alone,  I would have voted for the bill had it been brought to the floor.  Secondly, the bill would repeal Obamacare’s roughly $1 trillion in taxes.  It would repeal every subsidy in Obamacare as well as every penalty associated with the employer mandate and the individual mandate — effectively neutering those mandates.  Each of these measures has a direct impact on the Treasury, which is why they could be included under the rules of Budget Reconciliation, and each of these items essentially defund and strip the major components of the law that are so onerous.  

The replacement components of the bill would expand Health Savings Accounts and pull those with preexisting conditions out of the individual market.  This does not mean that those with preexisting conditions would not have coverage.  They would have the exact same coverage available to them from which anyone else would be able to choose.  The difference is their coverage would be subsidized by all taxpayers through the use of high risk pools and individual state innovation grants rather than being subsidized by those buying insurance in the individual marketplace.  This is one of the fundamental problems with Obamacare and why there is only one insurer left on the exchanges in five states.  Next year many exchanges will not have any insurer participation due to the rising cost.  When you pull those with preexisting conditions out of the individual market, it takes away one of the major drivers of the increasing costs of health insurance helping to stabilize prices.  

Further, one of the major inequities in our current insurance markets is the tax advantage provided to those who have employer-based coverage versus those in the individual market who must pay with after-tax dollars.  If you have insurance through your employer, your premiums are essentially wages not subject to taxation.  To equalize the tax treatment for those in the individual markets, the bill provides individuals a refundable tax credit to purchase the health insurance product of their choice.  For example, those who would no longer be eligible for Medicaid would have a refundable tax credit paid directly to the insurance company to reduce the price of their insurance.  (I should mention that Medicaid was originally intended to help those who are disabled or are single mothers with children — not able-bodied adults as it was expanded to include under Obamacare.  This is why more and more doctors refuse Medicaid patients.  There are fewer dollars to go around given the expansion of eligibility, and the doctors end up getting paid less and less as a result.)        

This bill is the first of three steps to achieving a replacement with the goal of creating more competition and greater access to quality health care.  The second component, currently underway, is all those administrative actions and rules and regulations available to the Secretary of Health & Human Services to create more flexibility for the states and in the insurance markets.  These actions will help create more choice and competition.  The third component is a variety of reform measures that don’t meet the stringent test of inclusion in Budget Reconciliation.  These items, including allowing the creation of Associated Health Plans where, for example, realtors from all over the country could pool their resources to get a much better price for insurance and allowing insurance to be sold across state lines would require 60 votes for approval in the Senate.  Once the key components of Obamacare are repealed and as much replacement as possible is already in law, it is much more likely that Senate Republicans will be able to peel off 8 Democrat votes to approve these measures.  

House Republicans continue to work on reaching a deal that unites conservative and moderate Republicans during the Easter recess, and it is my hope and belief that we will eventually find a path forward that unites the Republican conference ensuring the votes necessary for passage in the House.  If that is achieved, the bill would then go to the Senate for consideration by that body.  

DISTRICT WORK WEEK

After six straight weeks of being in Washington, D.C. for votes, I've been out and about in the District hosting meetings with constituents and stakeholders, visiting businesses and sites and catching up with the press.  Please see below for some of the highlights of my District Work Week thus far.  

Touring Seymour Johnson Air Force Base with Colonel Eric Jenkins, Colonel Chris Sage and Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen

Meeting with Johnston County Economic Director and Airport Director to discuss economic development

Stopping by Bitty & Beau's Coffee in Wilmington to meet with the owners and wonderful staff

Celebrating the 200th Birthday of Bald Head Island

Discussing my visit to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base with the Goldsboro News Argus

For more updates, please visit my Facebook page by clicking here.

ROUZER INTRODUCES BILL TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY BY ELIMINATING THE DEPT OF ED, RETURN FUNDING AND DECISIONS TO STATES

Last month I introduced the States’ Education Reclamation Act to return taxpayer dollars, used to fund the federal education bureaucracy, back to the states so that they could increase teacher salaries, utilize this extra funding for school construction or pay for the most up to date technology in classrooms or any other measure that would enhance education.

The Department of Education was created with the intention of reversing stagnating education performance amongst Americans.  Since 1980, the Department’s budget has ballooned from $14 billion to approximately $87 billion while failing to vastly improve students’ performance in math, science and reading.  Meanwhile, the Department expends large amounts of money on its own maintenance and overhead – paying its general services employees an average of $109,924 per year.  In comparison, teachers in North Carolina take home an average salary of $47,931.

My bill proposes a responsible dismantling of the Department of Education by reallocating its billions in funding to be proportionally distributed to the respective states in the form of grants. 

Given the challenges and special needs that all teachers and school administrators continually face, we can get far more out of the tax dollars currently being spent on education by dismantling this billion dollar federal agency and returning those resources back to the states.

ROUZER INTRODUCES BILL TO DESIGNATE WILMINGTON AS “WORLD WAR II CITY”

I re-introduced my bill to designate and recognize the city of Wilmington as the first nationally recognized “American World War II City.”  During World War II, the city of Wilmington was regarded as the defense capital of the state due to major industries supporting the war’s efforts, including shipbuilding, fertilizer production, agriculture production, and the manufacturing of clothing and other goods.

My bill, H.R. 1721, would establish a process to allow the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs to designate at least one city in the United States each year with this illustrious title.  If passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, the city of Wilmington would be the first “American World War II City.”

I am proud to introduce this bill and would like to thank Captain Wilbur Jones Jr., USNR (Ret.) of Wilmington for all of his hard work and advocacy for this designation.  Over the past 8 years, Captain Jones has been working tirelessly to honor Wilmington for its significant contributions to the war effort, as well as to recognize the amazing accomplishments made that are preserving the history of World War II. 

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE NC-07 ART COMPETITION ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED

Our office is now accepting submissions for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition.  All high school students across the 7th Congressional District are invited to enter their best artwork reflecting the theme, “What I Love About North Carolina.”  The deadline to submit artwork is Friday, April 28th.

The winning artist from the 7th District will have their artwork on display for eleven months in the Capitol tunnel to be seen by thousands of visitors from across the country. 

The winner will be presented with two round trip tickets, courtesy of Southwest Airlines, to Washington, D.C. to attend an exclusive reception at the U.S. Capitol honoring the country’s winners.

For those interested in submitting a piece of art, please visit my website at rouzer.house.gov for more information.  You can also call Anna Young in our Wilmington office at (910) 395-0202 for more details.

The 2016 winning piece of art – “Priceless” by Moriah Pate from Hobbton High School

SECOND ANNUAL NC-07 YOUTH LEADERSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURIAL CONFERENCE

This past month my office hosted its second annual Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurial Conference for high school juniors in the 7th Congressional District.  Our Conference provided two juniors from each high school the opportunity to learn more about values-based leadership, hear from North Carolina entrepreneurs and develop the necessary personal and professional skills to achieve goals.

Nearly 60 students attended the day long event at the Sampson Agri Exposition Center.  Students heard from representatives from the BB&T Leadership Institute and UNC Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  They also had the opportunity to break out into groups to engage in ice breakers and leadership exercises. 

Attendees of the second annual NC-07 Youth Leadership Conference

Sincerely,


To subscribe to receive future enewsletter updates, please click here
To unsubscribe, please click here.

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy

[$$$Survey.2100160$$$]