News from Representative Smucker

   

A Hopeful Message

During Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Trump delivered a hopeful, confident message to the American people. The optimism he expressed is reflective of the feedback I get from constituents all across the district – and with good reason.

Over the last year, Congress and the White House have worked together to deliver greater economic opportunity for everyone. We’re transforming our economy from stagnant to prosperous, and the results speak for themselves. Millions of Americans are already receiving bonuses and wage increases as a result of our unified effort to deliver middle-class tax relief and to unleash American innovation.

I am glad the president is taking a leading role in laying out a clear vision to improve our nation’s aging infrastructure. There is real bipartisan support for modernizing our infrastructure, and I am confident we’ll continue building on the progress already made in Congress.

There is a lot of work to be done this year, and I look forward to continuing my work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and this administration to improve the lives of the people I represent.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, President Trump on Tuesday introduced the American people to a number of individuals who are, simply put, heroes: A North Korean defector who today advocates for human rights, a police officer and his wife who adopted the child of a heroin addict, a California firefighter who ran into a burning building to save 62 children, and the parents of daughters killed by MS-13, just to name a few. These individuals embody the courage and strength of mankind, and their recognitions were eye-opening and profound moments of the president’s address.

You can watch my video response to the State of the Union here.

Bonuses and Wage Hikes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law one month ago, and already workers across Pennsylvania and America are seeing benefits in the form of bonuses, wage increases, and 401(k) match increases. In fact, at least three million Americans working at nearly 300 different companies are receiving special tax reform bonuses. One of those companies is Fulton Financial in downtown Lancaster. Fulton is raising its base wage to $12 per hour, giving bonuses to employees, and increasing their charitable donations by $2 million. So far, 10 other Pennsylvania companies have announced similar benefits for their employees. You can find the full list here.

I’ve been meeting with and hearing from families and small-business owners across the district about the impact of this law, like New Holland resident Bryant Glick and his family who are renovating their home to make room for their growing family. And this month, you’ll see a bigger paycheck because of the new, lower tax rates. If you would like to send me your thoughts on tax reform or share how the new tax law is impacting your family, you can send me an email here. (Photo: Tim Mekeel, LNP)

Standing Up for Pennsylvania’s Solar Workers

 

President Trump’s administration recently announced that the United States will start imposing tariffs up to 30 percent on imported solar panels. I share and support President Trump’s goal of strengthening American manufacturing to better compete in the global economy, but I believe this decision is misguided. 

This tariff jeopardizes billions of dollars in solar industry investments and could cost American jobs. That is why I wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. International Trade Commission urging them to consider the negative impacts tariffs would have on solar workers in our community and across the country, as well as the growth of our nation’s largest source of new electric generating capacity. 

Pennsylvania ranks 19th in the nation for solar production. We have 534 solar companies supporting more than 3,000 jobs, making our commonwealth one of the largest solar employers in the country. I’m pictured above with Community Energy’s Brent Alderfer in southern Lancaster County when I visited its solar farm in August. While I am disappointed in this decision, I will continue to engage the administration to help protect American jobs and support robust growth in the solar field.

 

Transparency is Vital in Federal Surveillance Programs

 

I urged the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to release a classified memo to the public that “contains revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses.”

I believe the American people deserve to know the information in this memo. The audience of this document should not be limited to members of Congress – the American people deserve to know the information it contains. You can read the letter I sent to Chairman Devin Nunes urging the release of this memo here.

Furthermore, when I voted on January 11th to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for six years, I did so because that legislation included meaningful reforms like increased oversight measures, whistleblower protections, and updated query and reporting requirements. You can read my full statement on reauthorizing FISA here, and share with me any concerns or questions you have about the program here.

 

Preventing Federal Government Shutdowns

The recent federal government shutdown was completely unnecessary, and underscores the importance of reforming the federal budget process. Since taking office, I have been working to end the failed status quo and pushing the House Budget Committee to reform the broken process and add real accountability measures to help end Congress’ track record of governing from one funding crisis to the next.

I also introduced the Government Shutdown Prevention Act – legislation that would provide automatic government funding for any appropriations bill not completed before the end of the fiscal year. If a budget is still not completed within 120 days after the automatic funding kicks in, funding levels would be reduced by one percent, and again after each subsequent 90-day period.

Finally, members of Congress should be held accountable for not funding the government. That is why I support legislation that would withhold the pay of members after the budget deadline unless Congress uses regular order to pass a budget resolution and appropriations bills, and legislation that would reduce the salary of members for the duration of a federal government shutdown. You can learn more about my efforts to reform the broken federal budget process here.


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Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

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