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Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on important legislation that will help us preserve the Susquehanna Valley, inform you of an upcoming opportunity for you to help fight the opioid crisis, and share with you how I voted on a balanced budget amendment. (Spoiler: I voted for it.)

If you'd like to share your concerns or opinions with me, you can do so here. You can also stay up-to-date on my work in Pennsylvania and Washington by following me on Facebook and Twitter.

Heritage Area Effort Takes Big Step Forward

As you may recall, last year I introduced legislation that would help us maintain the natural beauty we find in our region of the commonwealth. It's called the Susquehanna National Heritage Area Act and it would make Lancaster and York Counties a National Heritage Area (NHA) - a federal designation that receives support from the National Park Service. This NHA would attract more visitors, stimulate our local economy, and preserve natural resources and historical landmarks. 

This week, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed my legislation with unanimous support - marking the first time this legislation has ever passed out of committee in the House! This is an important step forward, but now the final push begins to get it approved by the full House of Representatives. 

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I was glad to host Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz (left) last week in Washington. I invited him to testify in front of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands about his and the community's support for this effort. This really is a collaborative effort, driven by constituents, and I'm glad to have the support of many in our community.

You can learn more about this important step forward here.

Balancing the Federal Budget

The status quo in Washington is failing the American people, and real change is needed. That's why I voted in support of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution introduced by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06). The federal budget process is completely broken, and I believe a balanced budget amendment is exactly the mechanism needed to get the nation's fiscal house in order.

The latest example of the broken budget process is the $1.3 trillion spending bill that was signed into law last month. I supported a number of provisions included in that legislation, like funding our military, fighting the opioid epidemic, agriculture reforms, and school safety measures. But these priorities can and should be achieved in a fiscally responsible manner.

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It is long past time Congress finally put an end to irresponsible spending - saddling our children and grandchildren with an insurmountable debt. This amendment would make balancing the budget the norm, rather than the exception, and it would codify Congress's responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

There are numerous proposals to reform the federal budget process, many that I support and have introduced myself, but this amendment would be the most meaningful budget and spending reform Congress could enact. It works for the states and it will work for Washington. Sadly, it failed on a largely party line vote.

I delivered a speech on the House floor in support of this amendment. You can watch that speech here, and send me your thoughts on this topic here.

You Can Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

As part of my ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic in our community, I wanted to make you aware of an important upcoming opportunity for you to help. 

I think many of us would be surprised at the amount of unused medications that can be found in our homes. Too often, children are the ones the find them. We should take every precaution to be sure that they don't end up in the wrong hands. The best thing to do is get rid of them in a responsible way.

The DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of excess prescription drugs. It also provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and to educate our friends, family, and neighbors about the potential for abuse of medications.

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On Saturday, April 28, 2018, several locations in our district will serve as a National Take Back Day collection site, giving an opportunity for our community to dispose of prescription drugs.

I hope you'll join me this Take Back Day as we continue our work combating the opioid crisis. By working together, we can save lives. 

Please visit my website where you can find a list of collection sites in our community. You can also read about my efforts to combat the opioid epidemic here.

A True Servant Leader

Many of you reading this already know my older brother, Reverend Sam Smucker. If you do, then you also know that Sam is a true servant leader that many rely on for spiritual guidance throughout their lives - my family included. I'm remarkably proud of the extraordinary work Sam has done to make our community a better place and to spread the word of God. 

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I was honored to have Sam in Washington last week as the House of Representatives' guest chaplain. He delivered the opening prayer in the House chamber before legislative proceedings. You can watch his prayer here. It's pretty cool to have your older brother pray over your place of work, so I spoke on the floor following his speech to thank him and share with my colleagues a bit about Sam's work in our community. You can watch my speech here.

Sam was in Washington because all of my brothers were in town visiting (Dan, Steve, Chrit, John, Merv, and Sam). I'm really glad that while we were all in D.C., Sam had the opportunity to serve as guest chaplain. You can see a photo of the seven of us and read about their visit here.

Tax Day

We're saying goodbye to the old, outdated, broken federal tax code. Tax Day 2018 was the last day you'll file your taxes under that old code.

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This year, 90 percent of Americans are starting to see bigger paychecks, and more than four million are receiving more than $4 billion in bonuses, higher wages, and increased benefits.

And next year, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we will see lower rates, nearly doubled standard deduction, a doubled Child Tax Credit, a simpler filing process, and relief from Obamacare's unfair and ineffective individual mandate. Read about how people in our community are using their tax savings here. You can also email me with your thoughts about the new tax code here.

Remembering Barbara Bush

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This week we learned of the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. She embodied the very best of the American spirit. She leaves behind a loving family - one full of public servants who are better because of her.

Cindy and I send our condolences and our prayer to the entire Bush family. She will be greatly missed.

Stay up-to-date on what I'm doing in Washington and Pennsylvania by following me on Twitter and Facebook.

Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

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