News from Representative Smucker

   

Aid for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is home to nearly 3.5 million American citizens. Reports and images from the island display nothing short of a humanitarian crisis that requires our full and undivided attention. I am thankful that the federal government has already stepped in to provide immediate relief and has deployed resources to help feed, clothe, and house those who lost everything. 

Our Congressional District is home to more than 72,000 Puerto Ricans. For many of our neighbors, this terrible event has a personal impact. It is critical that federal resources are used efficiently and effectively to support Americans impacted by this disaster. That is why I sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Elaine Duke asking her to extend federal cost sharing from six months to one full year, and to brief Congress on relief efforts as soon as practicable. 

This will be an ongoing effort. I’ve been in regular contact with the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, about the needs on the island. I’ve also reached out to members on both sides of the aisle with sizeable Puerto Rican populations to discuss how we can all work together to assist.

If you would like to learn how you can help Puerto Rico, or if you need help getting in touch with a loved one on the island, please visit FEMA’s website here

 

 

More Money in Your Pocket

This week Republicans released a vision to improve people’s lives and put more money back in the pockets of hardworking American families. Our current federal tax code is broken, but we have the fix: give American families the opportunity to improve their lives through a simplified tax code.

 

The plan cuts taxes for all Americans. This means bigger paychecks and more financial stability for millions of families that too often must tighten their household budgets because of stagnant wages. It means mothers and fathers can more easily save for their children’s college fund and plan for retirement. And it means it will be easier for young people graduating from high school and college to get a job, buy a home, and start a family.

 

I went to Washington to improve the lives of the people I represent. These are exactly the types of reforms I wanted to see in a tax reform plan, and now is our best opportunity to reignite the American Dream. I’m proud of the effort that went into this framework, and I look forward to the work that lies ahead.  

 

I want to hear from you on this topic. I encourage you to learn about the tax reform framework here, and send me an email with your thoughts here.

 

Improving Pediatric Care

 

I’m working to improve long-term health outcomes for children and to help ensure children have access to specialized care where and when they need it.

This week, I worked across the aisle with Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-02) to introduce the Strengthening Our Pediatric Workforce Act – bipartisan legislation that will help address America’s growing pediatric physician shortage by creating a new grant program for children’s teaching hospitals to make additional residency positions available for pediatric specialists.

The next generation of medical professionals is eager to provide high-quality medical care to children. We need to ensure pediatric clinics and hospitals have the resources and staff necessary to care for children with many different medical needs. I have heard directly from hospitals, doctors, and other health care professionals about the growing physician shortage in Pennsylvania and across the country. This legislation will help fill those positions and will help place more residents in rural and medically-underserved areas. 

This legislation is supported by Children’s Hospital Association and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

You can learn more about this bipartisan effort here.

 

Improving the VA Experience for Veterans

 

On Tuesday, I testified in front of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee on my bipartisan legislation to relieve veterans of financial burdens caused by delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Our nation’s veterans and their families have sacrificed so much in defense of our nation. We should be making it easier, not harder, for them to transition to post-military life. That process starts with ensuring that the VA not only delivers quality health care, but also timely bills that our veterans can count on.

Unfortunately, delays at the VA mean that many veterans receive bills for care they received months, and sometimes years, back. This is simply unacceptable. Our service men and women should not be responsible to pay when there are errors or delays at the VA. For more than a decade, the VA has failed to address its broken billing system that leaves our nation’s veterans to pick up an inaccurate or expensive bill. That’s why I introduced my legislation, and it’s why I was so glad to have the opportunity to urge the committee to support it.

You can learn more about this bipartisan legislation, and watch my testimony, here.

 

Photo Journal

Last week I visited Sheetz in Lancaster to speak with employees and learn about all the work that goes into running the store. The store manager, Tanya, helped me behind the counter while I rang up and talked to customers for a while! If you would like me to visit your local business, school, or other organization, you can invite me here.

 

Pennsylvania has 59 different freight railroads – more than any other state! Our district is home to eight of them. I visited Norfolk Southern with Commissioners Stuckey and Parsons to discuss the local economic impact of the region’s freight rail connections.

I met with a group of students at Elizabethtown College to discuss the role of the federal government and my work for you in the House. Thank you to State Rep. Dave Hickernell for inviting me, and to Elizabethtown College President Carl Strikwerda for joining us! Want me to visit your school? Invite me here.

This past Saturday, I joined advocates, patients, and families at the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Clipper Stadium in Lancaster. It was so encouraging to meet with those impacted by this disease. Working together, we can end Alzheimer’s. If you’re a member of an organization and you’d like me to participate in an event or attend a meeting, you can invite me here.

 


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Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

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