News from Representative Smucker

   

Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on the new budget resolution that passed out of the House Budget Committee, my recent meeting with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer where we discussed trade policy impacting our local dairy farmers and employers, and two immigration bills that received a vote on the House floor. 

I enjoy hearing from you and responding to your questions, so if you'd like to share your concerns or opinions, or if you have questions about legislation or votes, you can send me an email 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, many of which are responses to your questions and concerns. 

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

 

A Budget for Fiscal Sanity

Washington's reckless spending is failing the American people. You expect Congress to treat your hard-earned tax dollars in a fiscally responsible manner. Congress has to stop kicking the can down the road and saddling future generations with insurmountable debt and severe economic consequences.

The House Budget Committee recently passed a budget that starts to do just that.

Last year, we passed a budget that would have balanced the federal budget in ten years and was instrumental in enacting comprehensive tax reform that has already revitalized our economy. This year, we're building on that success, and continuing to promote pro-growth policies that will create jobs and put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Americans.

Our budget also balances in nine years and achieves a $142 billion surplus by 2028 - demonstrating a serious commitment by our committee to address our debt crisis. It also ensures that our troops have the resources they need to keep our homeland safe.

Most importantly, our budget resolution gets serious about tackling mandatory spending - the biggest contributor to our national debt - while protecting and preserving Medicare and Social Security for current and future beneficiaries.

Here are some more budget resources so you can dig as deep as you'd like:

  • Read the budget resolution here
  • Read a one-page summary here
  • Read a section-by-section here
  • Read a budget blueprint here
  • Check out a bunch of charts and graphs here

Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack also recently joined me for a telephone town hall with thousands of constituents. This was a wonderful opportunity to hear your questions about this budget, and Chairman Womack and I answered your questions on a range of budget issues, like protecting and preserving Medicare and Social Security, balancing the budget, growth projections, and tax reform. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I provide notice about upcoming town halls!

 

Standing Up for Our Dairy Farmers

On Wednesday morning, I hosted a meeting for freshman Republican House members to meet with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to discuss ongoing negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

We had a productive conversation with Ambassador Lighthizer about the potential impact the negotiations could have on our Congressional Districts. Over the last year, I've expressed concern to the administration about Canada's unfair trade practices - imposing stiff tariffs as high as 300 percent on U.S. dairy exports - and have urged it to prioritize the American dairy industry during the negotiations.

In Wednesday's meeting, I again urged Ambassador Lighthizer to stand up for our dairy farmers - many of which are struggling to get their products to market and keep their farms operating. I also continue to believe that including a sunset provision in NAFTA - essentially an expiration date - would create uncertainty for American companies and would hinder their ability to plan for the future.

I'll continue to work with President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer to improve our trade agreements and help ensure the hardworking farmers and employers in our district can compete in today's global economy.

You can read more about our meeting here.

 

Commonsense Immigration Reform

Our badly-broken immigration system must be fixed. That's why, last week, I voted for legislation - the Securing America's Future Act -that would make a serious investment in border security, crack down on dangerous sanctuary cities, and address visa overstays - a legislative priority of mine. The bill, introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte, would also help many in our community and local economy by reforming the agricultural guest worker program. Finally, it would provide long-term stability to DACA recipients and also ensure children remain with their parents when seeking asylum. 

Unfortunately, this legislation didn't receive enough votes to pass the House. I'm disappointed with the result, but I'm going to keep working with my colleagues to advance the priorities above that will help fix our system.

On Wednesday, the House voted on a second immigration bill that I did not believe was the solution to fixing our immigration system. This particular bill, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, didn't hold sanctuary cities accountable for protecting dangerous criminals, nor did it crack down on individuals overstaying their visa. These are two critical priorities that must be addressed, and that's why I voted for legislation to end sanctuary cities and introduced the legislation that would make overstaying a visa a criminal offense. 

This legislation also missed an opportunity to make needed reforms to our agricultural immigrant labor programs, make E-Verify law of the land, and address the vast worker shortage found in Pennsylvania and across the country. These items would help ensure employers and farmers in our district have the workforce the need to get their products to market and support our local economy.

Simply put, the House has now missed two opportunities to fix our broken immigration system and make our country more safe, secure, and prosperous. You deserve better than the failed status quo.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on these bills. Feel free to send me an email and I'll be sure to get back to you with answers to your questions or a response to your comments.

 

Smart Agriculture Policy

The House recently passed the 2018 Farm Bill - legislation that will help our struggling farmers and improve our workforce. Our Congressional District leads the commonwealth in agricultural production which supports more than 93,000 jobs, with a total economic impact of more than $16 billion. Meanwhile, the income of farmers is at a 12-year low.

That's why I urged the House Agriculture Committee to prioritize issues important to our community. These include reforming the Margin Protection Program for diary farmers and maintaining the current crop insurance program. I also urged the committee to prioritize funding to fight the spotted lanternfly - an invasive species that is threatening our local economy. Thankfully, the legislation passed by the House includes these important priorities.

I believe some of the best parts of this bill are the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the corresponding investment in federal workforce development programs. This policy is about much more than just helping those in need find and train for jobs, but also about investing in our people and the dignity that jobs provide. We want everyone to fulfill their potential and contribute to our society in a positive, meaningful way. These reforms will provide more opportunity for people to achieve the American Dream.

Importantly, there are exceptions to the work requirements. These exemptions include those caring for a child under the age of six, pregnant women, mentally or physically disabled individuals, and seniors. Under this legislation, the total amount of SNAP benefits and SNAP beneficiaries would not be reduced.

Here are a number of resources that I encourage you to check out if you're interested in learning more about the 2018 Farm Bill:

 

State Champs!

Here's some great news: two local high school teams recently won state championships! 

The Lampeter-Strasburg women's softball team beat West Allegheny on June 14th to claim its first-ever PIAA 5A softball state championship! After losing by a slim margin two years ago, the Pioneers overcame adversity and returned to the state finals this year to win 6 to 2. 

I went down to the House floor this week to congratulate the team and recognize their hard work and determination. You can watch that speech by clicking here or on the image below.

But that's not all...

The Lancaster Catholic boys baseball team also won its first state championship! After a remarkable 20-5 season, the Crusaders won the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four and District Three titles, setting themselves up for a run at the state championship. Sure enough, the Crusaders defeated South Side 5 to 1 in the PIAA 3A championship game!

I delivered another speech on the House floor this week to congratulate the Crusaders on their victory. You can watch it here or by clicking on the image below.


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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