News from Representative Smucker


Thank you for subscribing to my E-Newsletter! This week I want to update you on my new bipartisan legislation to improve mental health services for our active-duty servicemembers, a recent decision by the International Trade Commission that benefits our community, and House-passed legislation that will provide financial counseling to students taking out loans for their education.

I also enjoy hearing from you and responding to your questions via email, phone calls, and letters. If you'd like to share your concerns or opinions, or if you have questions about legislation or specific votes, you can send me an email here. To stay up-to-date on my work in Pennsylvania and Washington, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out my YouTube page here where there are 100+ videos, many of which are responses to your questions.

Warrior Wellness Act

This week I introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Salud Carbajal from California that will help improve the mental health services provided to active-duty service men and women by the Department of Defense.

Some of the greatest wounds inflicted upon our brave service men and women are unseen. We should be doing everything we can to treat these wounds as we would any other. That's why this legislation is so important. It would address the mental health provider shortage at the Department of Defense, as well as address medication prescribing practices when treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Ensuring our troops have access to high-quality mental health services and are properly evaluated and treated is critical to their safety, the safety of their fellow soldiers, and the effectiveness of our national defense. I'm glad to be working across the aisle with Rep. Carbajal on behalf of our servicemembers and their families.

I also recently hosted a veterans benefits expo at Willow Valley, where more than 200 veterans and their families attended to get more information about all the services available to them. 120 veterans signed up for the new Veterans ID Card! Check that out here. You may also be interested in knowing that, earlier this year, the House passed my bipartisan legislation that will help veterans transition to civilian life. You can read about that legislation here, and learn about all my efforts on behalf of our veterans and their families here.

If you are a veteran, or know a veteran, and are having trouble with a federal agency like the Department of Veterans Affairs, I would be glad to help you cut through some of the bureaucratic red tape in Washington. Give my office a call at 717-393-0667 if there is anything I can do to help.

You can read all about this bipartisan legislation here.

Statement on Newsprint Tariff Decision

The United States International Trade Commission made some news recently when it announced it had struck down a 17 percent tariff imposed by President Trump's administration on imported groundwood paper from Canada. In July, I expressed my concerns about this tariff to Commerce Secretary Ross and ITC Chairman Johanson, and I'm glad to see their decision supports a well-informed nation.

American printing and publishing companies, and small and rural newspapers, rely on this product to deliver news to their communities. The Trade Commission's announcement was great news for anyone who relies on their local paper to stay informed. Nationwide, this industry employs more than 600,000 Americans. This tariff would have threatened the very existence of the numerous small and rural newspapers in our community.  

You can read more about this important issue here, and read my letter to Secretary Ross and Chairman Johanson here.

A Small Gift for Active-Duty Soldiers

On Wednesday morning, I joined the United Service Organizations (USO), my colleagues, and congressional staff in assembling care packages that will be sent to active-duty service men and women currently serving overseas.

These care packages will first be delivered to military spouses who will be able to add their own card or note for their loved one. Then the USO will collect the care packages and send them overseas. I was glad to be able to participate in this small act of gratitude for those in harm's way. You can learn about the USO's Care Package Program here.

Support for Victims of Flooding

Our community has experienced devastating flooding. I want to make you aware of a program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that may be able to help you and your family.

For residents who have had their homes affected, USDA Rural Development has a program for single family housing repair loans and grants, called the Section 504 Home Repair Program. This program provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, or improve their homes. It can also be used to remove health and safety hazards.

The loans are available year-round, as long as funding is still available. You can find more information about this program here. If you have any questions, please call my office at 717-393-0667.

Remembering Fire Chief Michael Reese

Our community lost a dedicated public servant just two weeks ago - Willow Street Fire Chief Michael Reese.

Chief Reese's career as a firefighter - which spanned four decades and began when he was a teenager - stands out in our community as one of service, pride, and bravery. In addition to his 39 years as a firefighter and EMT, Chief Reese spent 17 years as an emergency dispatcher and assistant supervisor with the Lancaster County-Wide Communications. Chief Reese focused his entire career on serving others, on making our community a safer place, and on saving the lives of those we was charged with protecting. 

Michael served alongside his brother, David, who is the Deputy Fire Chief in Willow Street. David, and all the firefighters in Willow Street and across Central Pennsylvania, will carry Michael's spirit with them the rest of their lives.

I am extraordinarily grateful for his service. We owe a debt of gratitude to Chief Reese, his wife Susan, and his entire family. His memory will not soon be forgotten.

I delivered a speech honoring Chief Reese on the House floor this week. You can watch it here.

Photo: Kirk Neidermeyer, LNP

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Lloyd Smucker

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