News from Representative Smucker

   

Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on my legislation to help veterans transition to civilian life, thank our brave police officers that work to keep our communities safe, and inform you about my views on the Iran deal and President Trump's rescissions request.

I enjoy hearing from you and respond to inquiries, so 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, and view more than 100 videos on my YouTube page here.

If you've missed one of my newsletters, you can view all the past newsletters I've sent on my website here.

One Big Thing: Utility Refunds

Great news: 17 Pennsylvania utility companies will be returning $320 million to Pennsylvania families as a direct result of the new federal tax law!

This is wonderful news for our community - and for our entire commonwealth. I wrote to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) in March urging it to review the impact of recent tax changes because I wanted to be sure you were receiving the full benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

We learned this week the Commission determined that "due to the substantial decrease in federal corporate income tax rates and its effect on utility revenue requirement, the existing rates of the public utilities...are no longer just and reasonable and, indeed, excessive."

So, what does this mean? It means consumers across Pennsylvania are going to see refunds or credits applied to their account.

You can read my full statement on this announcement here, and learn more about this refund from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission here. You can also read the letter I sent to the PUC here.

VA Billing Legislation Passes Committee

My bipartisan legislation to relieve veterans of financial burdens caused by delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one step closer to becoming law! The House Committee on Veterans Affairs passed my VA Billing Accountability Act last week and now it will go to the House floor for consideration.

Our nation's service men and women should not have to pay for delays or errors made by the VA. They and their families have sacrificed so much in defense of our great nation. We should be doing all we can to make their transition to civilian life as easy as possible, and my bill will help bring more stability and financial security to their post-military lives. I am thankful for all the hard work by Chairman Phil Roe of the Veterans Affairs Committee on behalf of all our veterans.

When my legislation passed his committee, Chairman Roe said this:

"Ensuring accountability throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs is one way we can provide veterans with the care and benefits they have earned. The VA Billing Accountability Act will bring accountability to the VA's billing practices by clearly defining the department's billing responsibilities and protecting veterans from undue financial penalties, and I thank Rep. Smucker for his work on this important topic."

You can learn more about this bipartisan legislation here. Feel free to send me an email telling me what you think of it here

If you or someone you know needs help with the VA, my staff and I stand ready to assist. Please don't hesitate to contact my casework staff in my Lancaster office at (717) 393-0667 or email me here.

National Police Week 2018

National Police Week ends this weekend - a time where we show our appreciation and gratitude for the brave men and women who work to keep our families and our communities safe. They deserve our unwavering support for putting themselves in harm's way.

You can watch a short video of me discussing Congress' efforts to keep our police officers safe and healthy here.

Sadly, the names of five Pennsylvanians who died in the line of duty in 2017 will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. this year. They are:

  • Officer Raymond Diaz Jr. of the Philadelphia Police Department
  • Officer Shawn Rager of the Johnstown Police Department
  • Officer Brian Shaw of the New Kensington Police Department
  • Trooper Michael Stewart of the Pennsylvania State Police
  • Officer David Weaver of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

These officers sacrificed their lives to keep us safe. We will never be able to repay that debt, and I am eternally grateful for them and their families. Take a moment the next few days - or any time - to say "thank you" to those that keep us safe every day.

From me and on behalf of my family, thank you.

A Dangerous Deal

President Trump recently announced that the United States would withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran.

I've long said this deal is fatally flawed. From its development to its execution, the deal paves the way for Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons. The deal fails to prevent Iran from testing ballistic missiles and does not address Iran's role as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. I support President Trump's decision to withdraw from this dangerous deal and will continue my efforts in Congress to hold Iran accountable for its actions.

You can view my statement on my website here. You can also learn about sanctions that passed Congress with my support here.

Saving Taxpayer Money

I am glad President Trump has submitted a rescissions package to Congress. Rescinding unused federal funds is a commonsense and reasonable way to rein in Washington's out-of-control spending habit - but hopefully this is just a down payment on our broader commitment to reduce spending. 

This rescissions package is the largest since 1974 - that's when the Executive Branch was first given the authority to submit rescissions to Congress. It rescinds more than $15 billion in previously appropriated funding. Basically, unused money from prior years was just sitting with federal agencies. Taxpayers deserve this money back.

I've heard some concern from constituents about rescinding federal funds from the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The fact is that these funds will not, and cannot, be used. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that this rescissions package will not reduce the number of children with insurance. 

You can read my full statement about this rescissions package here. If you're interested in learning more about my efforts to reform the budget process and reduce government spending, you can find more resources here.


Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter! You can 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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